Life-saving equipment could soon be installed on new housing estates

LIFE-saving equipment could soon be installed in new housing estates in the Cotswolds.

There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year in the UK where emergency medical services attempt to resuscitate the victim, according to the British Heart Foundation.

And civic chiefs in the Cotswolds want to see the access to defibrillators improved as their use can double the chances of survival.

The rural nature of the district means a good network of community public access defibrillators is vital to save people’s lives.

Cotswold District Council recently passed a motion to look at ensuring new housing and industrial developments include defibs.

Councillor Tom Stowe (C, Campden and Vale), who put forward the motion, said automated external defibrillators (AED) are used to treat a sudden cardiac arrest.

He came up with the idea for the motion due to a lack of defibs in two new housing estates in Mickleton where the community is having trouble retrospectively installing them.

“The developers have completed the developments, sold the properties and new residents are in their new homes but the village is now left with the problem of installing additional AEDs,” he told a council meeting this month.

“The siting of the AED needs to be accessible without delay in a prominent position with clear signage to direct people to them.

“Another huge problem with retrospectively siting an AED is a requirement for a power supply. This can be particularly costly once a development has been completed.”

Councillor Stephen Andrews (C, Lechlade, Kempsford and Fairford South), who is a community first responder with the ambulance service, seconded the motion.

Speaking after the meeting, he said defibs are extremely important for the Cotswolds

He said: “If someone has literally just collapsed, and we have had that in Fairford, where someone was in a queue in the market square and they collapsed.

“Because of the immediate response that was provided, the fact a defib was available meant they survived and they are still walking around.

“Speed of response is absolutely critical and if a defib can be got to someone within a few minutes of them having sudden cardiac arrest then their chances of survival are greatly increased.”

The council’s forward planning team will investigate its options to amend the regulations for developments of more than six homes to require defibrillators in the new Cotswold Local Plan.

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