Over a dozen different sites around the South Ribble are set to have life saving equipment following a £25,000 investment by the local authority.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) will initially be located at 14 different sites - including parks, leisure centres, sports pavilions and playing fields.

With some new defibrillators set to be installed, it will provide locals with the ability to safely help to save a fellow persons life if they go into cardiac arrest.

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The live saving equipment will only the person using the machine to deliver a shock if it is needed, meaning users can't do so by accident.

Sticky pads with sensors, called electrodes, are attached to the chest of someone who is having a cardiac arrest. The electrodes send information about the person's heart rhythm to a computer in the AED, which then analyses the heart rhythm to find out whether an electric shock is necessary.

AEDs are already 'rescue ready' at Worden Park, Moss Side Playing Fields, Penwortham Community Centre in Kingsfold, and the Civic Centre in Leyland.

They will soon also be in place at:

The installation of the defibrillators was proposed by the Council's Deputy Leader, Councillor Mick Titherington, after the distressing incident at UEFA Euro 2020 in which Denmark star Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch. Their importance was further underlined only last week when a Newcastle United supporter collapsed during a high-profile televised Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur.

Councillor Titherington, who is also the Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "What happened to Christian Eriksen at this summer's Euros shocked us all. Thankfully, with the use of a defibrillator and the quick-thinking of paramedics and others at the scene, he survived.

"However, it reminded us how precious life is and how everything can change in an instant. In a medical emergency like this, time is absolutely of the essence. By installing these defibrillator units across the borough, we are increasing the chances of survival of anybody who suffers a sudden cardiac arrest.

"Only last week, at St James' Park, we saw again how the presence of a defibrillator can make the difference between life and death - while closer to home, our brilliant staff at Leyland Leisure Centre were also able to respond quickly to help one of our customers. As a Council, it's not often you spend money on something you hope is never used! But if these defibrillators save even one life then they will be worth every penny - and more."

Coun Titherington was shown how to operate one of the new AEDs as part of first aid training at the Civic Centre - provided by locally-based Centaur Training Services. However, the units don't require specialist training and deliver easy-to-follow voice prompts so they can be used by anyone at any time in the event an emergency.

Coun Titherington added: "I'm really surprised by how simple they are to use. Nevertheless, I'd encourage everyone to get first aid training because you never know when it might be needed. It's daunting to think you might find yourself in a situation where somebody else's life is in your hands, but with these defibrillators everyone has the potential to be a lifesaver."

Each AED will be stored in its own lockable cabinet, which will be heated to ensure the device isn't affected by long periods of cold weather and each cabinet will be alarmed for security and to prevent misuse. North West Ambulance Service will be able to provide the access code should someone contact 999 in an emergency.

The model of AED purchased by the Council is one that can easily be used to help people of all ages.

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