Plea to roll out defibrillator location app

Coun Libby Bateman says people have just four minutes to start treatment following a cardiac arrest

Coun Libby Bateman says people have just four minutes to start treatment following a cardiac arrest

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Assistant editor

A PHONE app which could save lives by helping people find their nearest defibrillator could be rolled out across the whole country if a Cumbrian councillor has her way.

Coun Libby Bateman, of Cumbria County Council, is campaigning for the North West Ambulance Service to roll out the AED Locator UK app to help people locate their nearest machine in an emergency.

Coun Bateman, an emergency First Responder, said: “As you travel around Cumbria you will see defibrillation machines all over the place, including village halls and businesses but when you need one you don’t have a lot of time to try to work out where the nearest one is.

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“A defibrillator needs to be with a patient in cardiac arrest within four minutes to give them the greatest chance of survival. “This app really could save lives and should be downloaded on every smart phone ready for action if needed.”

She explained she had written to the chief executive of the Ambulance Service to ask him to consider adopting the app, which would mean handing over the location data for the public access defibrillators across the North West. “I received a response to say they are looking into it,” she added.

The app is currently available in south central England, for users who have Android or iPhones. Coun Bateman said: “I’m keen to see it rolled out across the whole country. “People travel around the country so it is vital that one app covers it all instead of each ambulance service, of which there are nine across the UK, creating their own.”

Gillian Hodgetts from South Central Ambulance Service said she was currently “in conversation” with other ambulance services around the UK to encourage them to get on board with the idea. “With national uptake of this app, many lives could be saved by providing the public with detailed information about defibrillator locations, whether they live in Cumbria or Cornwall,” she added.

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