At the beginning of this year it was brought to my attention that defibrillator locations in the borough were not widely known and there was a concern that some were not registered and mapped with the official North East Ambulance Service website (NEAS). Indeed even the council’s own defibrillators weren’t mapped. I therefore wrote to the directorate to request this be looked into in order to provide more clarity as to where these are with support from Public Health England. I was also concerned that some may be untested or out of use. Plus there are probably still many people who wouldn’t know how to use one or even what a defibrillator is?
In short a defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and it’s an essential part in trying to save the life of someone who is in cardiac arrest. Below is a short video which explains how it is used in an emergency. The first thing to do always is call 999. They will let you know where the nearest one is and how to access it.
Following my correspondence, Public Health South Tees have been advising Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council of their involvement. RCBC thereafter took a two strand approach:
- To help promote the location of the defibrillators by reference to the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) resource
- To remind people who have a defibrillator to register them on the NEAS site
Here is the latest map of Redcar & Cleveland registered defibrillators. Do you see any missing? Clicking this link will take you to the scrollable map https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1gi3Tv59AP3ItQIeQSYAkFU9D96HZ1BOt&ll=54.5848700915964%2C-1.0349385317382453&z=12
A promotion was put out on social media by Redcar & Cleveland in August 2020 promoting the use of equipment and this I am informed will be followed up again at periodic intervals but what struck me today (24/09/2020) is that the RCBC defibrillators are still not found on the map. Indeed neither is the one at the swimming baths. This I have raised again as once registered, it will help an Emergency Operator direct a caller to the nearest one, should it be required. Registering is easy and thereafter should be reviewed periodically. There is also known defibrillators in Redcar that do not show up on the map and a difference in results depending whether you search on a PC or on the mobile.
Currently I am advised of these defibrillators in Redcar. The ones in Red do not currently show up on the NEAS map (I will contact and update any change):
- Redcar & Cleveland House
- Seafield House
- The Palace Hub
- The Redcar Beacon
- Tuned In!
- Redcar Swimming Baths
- The Hop & Grape
- SeaBreeze Fish n Chip Shop
- Claxton Hotel
- The Cleveland Bay
- Kirkleatham Police Station
- Redcar Rugby Club
There is a shelf life attached to defibrillators in particular to the life of its battery. However, it is up to the owner of the equipment to ensure that it is maintained appropriately. It is not the responsibility of the Council or NEAS.
Finally, this equipment saves lives. It is absolutely worth familiarising yourself with the knowledge of how these work and where they are. In Redcar a defibrillator was purchased in 2019, from money raised at a charity night by the family of Norman Watson and located at The Hop & Grape pub. Norman himself had a heart attack in 2016 at Redcar swimming baths and had his life saved by staff using their defibrillator. The impact had a profound effect on him and his family and their goal was to raise money for another one, central along Redcar High Street. In 2019 they achieved this and located it at The Hop & Grape. A few months later there was an incident a few hundred yards away near the Plimsoll line pub, where someone had collapsed and had stopped breathing and this new equipment was used to save this person’s life. Purchased in April, saved a life in December. A priceless Christmas present for that family who will be forever grateful that someone had donated this vital equipment, and that someone else knew where to find it and how to use it because it was registered.
Please help identify defibrillators onto the central NEAS map. If you are responsible for a defibrillator or you know the location of one but cannot see it on the NEAS map please register it at https://www.neas.nhs.uk/our-services/register-a-defibrillator.aspx or contact them at:
North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Newcastle upon Tyne
Telephone – 0191 430 2000