Taken to heart

17 August 2012

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 museums.

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 across Wales.


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