COMMUNITIES in Wales are being urged to apply for a free defibrillator to help save lives.

The British Heart Foundation is offering 220 defibrillator packages available to communities thanks to fundraising from Royal Mail, the British Heart Foundation’s charity partner.

The defibrillators are available to communities through the community defibrillator fund and will prioritise the areas with greatest need – those with high deprivation and limited access to defibrillators.

The successful applicants will be provided with a defibrillator and cabinet and installation costs will be covered where required. Replacement parts for the defibrillator for successful communities can also be ordered free of charge when they expire or are used in a rescue.

The charity will also ensure that the defibrillators are registered on The Circuit so that ambulance services can direct callers to the defibrillator during a cardiac arrest.

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Every defibrillator has the power to save a life – that’s why I’m thrilled that we’re able to fully fund 220 of these life saving devices for communities across the UK. 

“Every second counts when someone has a cardiac arrest. Performing early CPR and having access to a defibrillator gives someone the best chance of survival. 

“There simply aren’t enough defibrillators where they’re needed most, as research has shown that many communities are too far away from their nearest defibrillator. These devices make where you live safer, as cardiac arrests can happen to anyone, at any time. More communities will now have access to a defibrillator that can save lives.”

A defibrillator helps to greatly improve the chance of survival for someone who goes into cardiac arrest. For every minute without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease by 10 per cent.

Each year in Wales, there are around 2,800 cardiac arrests out of hospital, and just one in 20 of those surviving the incident. The British Heart Foundation wants everyone to have the best chance of survival no matter where they live.

Currently, there are more than 79,000 defibrillators registered on The Circuit – the UK’s defibrillator network, but they are not evenly distributed which the BHF is concerned that the black spots could be putting lives at risk.

Communities are invited to apply for their free defibrillator on the BHF website here: