Life-saving equipment is now available to the public, as an automated external defibrillator (AED) has been installed on Strood Esplanade.
The defibrillator, which is provided by the Rochester Bridge Trust, could be the difference between life and death for a person suffering a heart attack. It is used to give an electric shock – defibrillation – that can increase the patient’s chances of survival until the emergency services can take over.
Russell Cooper, Senior Warden at the Trust, said: “Defibrillators can be a vital life-saving resource and we are pleased to be able to provide this device for the benefit of the local community.
“We hope this defibrillator will never need to be used, but it’s good to know it’s there.”
The AED is in a locked cabinet, located down a short flight of steps at the Strood end of the Old Bridge. It can be accessed calling 999 and asking for the ambulance service, which will provide the access code for the cabinet.
There are a number of first aiders who work on or near the bridges, however training is not needed: anyone can use the defibrillator. Simply open the device and follow the instructions on the pads, which show you how and where to attach them. The AED will then assess the person and give instructions if a shock is needed.
Someone who is having a heart attack may show a range of symptoms including chest pain, feeling lightheaded, sweating, shortness of breath, feeling or being sick, overwhelming sense of anxiety, and coughing.
For more information about what a heart attack is and how to carry out first aid, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/heart-attack/