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GTR start roll out of 200 more defibrillators in stations

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is continuing its roll out of life saving defibrillators at stations across its network.

Statistics show that more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen every year across the UK, and less than one in ten of those cases survive.

By using an automatic heart restarter (defibrillator) on an individual you can increase their survival rate by 50%. Cardiac arrest occurrences without immediate action have a 90-95% chance of death.

GTR has one of the biggest rail networks in Britain, covering London and nine counties, including Thameslink, Great Northern and Southern networks.

The rail operators had previously installed the defibrillators at 50 stations throughout Sussex and several others, with the support of the Sussex Heart Charity.

Yesterday (Dec 11) they began the installation of over 200 more across the network, a move that could see the survival of many passengers.

Automated external defibrillators (AEDS) do not require formal training to operate, as they “talk” the operator through the steps, meaning staff or passengers can take action before the ambulance arrives.

AEDS can detect an irregularity in a person’s heart rhythm and shock it back to normal, however they will not send the electric shock if a problem is not detected; meaning they can only be used to save a life.

Project sponsor Tom Moran, Managing Director of Thameslink and Great Northern, said:

 “Fitting defibrillators to all our stations is part of our commitment to transform lives and communities. I’m sure passengers will welcome this initiative – these devices are simple and straightforward to use and will save lives.

“Your chance of surviving a cardiac arrest fall by 10% for every minute without help and a defibrillator can increase chances of survival by 50%.”

The first four stations to be fitted with the new defibrillators are Welwyn Garden City, Hadley Wood, Knebworth and Potters Bar.

Helping launch the programme at Welwyn Garden City yesterday was local resident Arline Hursey, who lost her 18-year-old son, James, to a sudden cardiac arrest four years ago and set up the national campaign group Defibrillators in Public Places (DiPPs).


Photo credit: Peter Alvey

Tom Moran (far left), MD of Thameslink and Great Northern, announces the installation of life-saving defibrillators across the Govia Thameslink Railway network with (from left, front) paramedic James Keightley, David and Arline Hursey of DiPPs, Kim Lloyd of London Hearts and (behind) Welwyn Garden City station manager Dwayne Johnson


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