Operation Cracker: Emergency services launch cardiac arrest awareness campaign on the Yorkshire Coast
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Emergency services on the Yorkshire Coast have launched a cardiac arrest awareness campaign which includes encouraging local businesses, schools and sports facilities to install life-saving community Public Access Defibrillators (cPAD) accessible 24 hours a day.
Launched today - Friday 17 December 2021 - in Filey and Eastfield as part of Operation Cracker, the North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and Yorkshire Ambulance Service backed campaign is supporting the work of the British Heart Foundation.
Every year in the UK more than 30,000 people suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, but less than one in ten people survive.
However, the foundation’s ambition is to see survival rates tripled by 2030 by giving more people the skills and confidence to perform CPR and making public defibrillators more readily available.
Immediate CPR and defibrillation can double a person’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest in some cases.
But it’s estimated that public access defibrillators are currently used in less than one in ten out of hospital cardiac arrests.
Pictured from left to right:Inspector Andy Short from Filey and Eastfield Police, Dave Jones, Community Defibrillation Officer at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, and Stuart Moss, Crew Manager at Scarborough Fire Station.
Inspector Andy Short, of Filey and Eastfield Police, said: “By supporting the work of the British Heart Foundation in this way we hope ensure that life-saving defibrillators are rapidly available to anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest.
“All our operational staff are trained to give first aid and use defibrillators.
“At the same time, the cardiac arrest campaign will help to teach people what to do in the event of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
“We have a long tradition of making a positive contribution to the community we’re based in, and this commitment builds on that.
“We hope our support will help the British Heart Foundation fulfil its ambition of significantly improving cardiac arrest survival rates in the coming years.”
The initiative comes under Operation Cracker, a wide-ranging partnership drawing in support and expertise from different organisations, including: North Yorkshire Police, Scarborough Fire and Rescue Service, McCain Foods, NatWest Bank, Carers Plus, Beyond Housing, Westway Open Arms, Age UK, Futureworks NY, Crimestoppers UK and Eastfield PACT.
As part of the partnership, all the Operation Cracker defibrillators will be registered on The Circuit – a national defibrillator network.
The Circuit enables 999 call handlers to direct bystanders to their nearest defibrillator if they see someone suffer a cardiac arrest.
The defibrillators will be placed on walls outside the sites to ensure they’re available regardless of the time of day.
The education campaign will also be aimed at school-aged children in the area who will also be trained in CPR skills. It focuses on key public access defibrillator placement, and care of all of those impacted by an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
Station Manager Graeme Casper, of North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service,added: “The continued Operation Cracker partnership is a great way of making people safe and feel safe in their community.
“Helping to make defibrillators available along the coast, together with providing training and awareness, will undoubtedly save lives.
“People who own and maintain community Public Access Defibrillators can register their devices on The Circuit now for free.
“Please visit TheCircuit.uk for more information or to register your defibrillator.”
Dave Jones, Community Defibrillation Officer at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “It is a real benefit for local communities to have their own defibrillator located in a public place with an access code easily available from the ambulance service.
“Having easy access to a community Public Access Defibrillator means that immediate life-saving care can be provided in an emergency such as cardiac arrest, in the vital minutes before the ambulance arrives.
“We know that in many medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical, and if effective treatment can be performed within those first minutes, lives can be saved, and disability reduced.
“The importance of the Chain of Survival, including early recognition, calling 999, bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation, cannot be underestimated.
“Using a defibrillator, which delivers a controlled electric shock to stop the heart so that it can naturally return to a normal rhythm, is very straightforward and can be carried out by anyone as the machine itself talks the user through what to do step-by-step.
“These pieces of kit really do have the potential to help to save more lives and are an important asset to local communities.”