SAVING lives, as well as souls, is the mission at St James's,
Wick, a rural church in the Vale of Glamorgan,
Llandaff diocese. St James's is the first in a
scheme to install public-access defibrillators (PADs) in church
buildings in remote areas of Wales. They are to be available for
anyone suffering a cardiac arrest.
PADs will usually be securely
installed in church porches, with clear and easily understood
instructions for their use, in the hope that, faced with someone
who has suffered a sudden traumatic collapse, anyone (preferably
trained) can get hold of them and operate it.
The project has been funded by the
British Heart Foundation - supported by the Welsh Ambulance Service
- to make the PADs available to scattered communities across Wales.
Already the Ambulance Service, in partnership with the Welsh
government, has trained 4000 volunteers to be available at PADs
sites in such places as railway stations, leisure centres, and
This one, at St James's, is believed
to be the first to be installed in a church. It was blessed by the
Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, who received instruction in
its use from the National Manager of the Welsh Ambulance Service,
Gerard Rothwell (above). Mr Rothwell said that they looked
forward to extending the scheme to several more remote churches