Councillors back campaign to roll out more lifesaving defibrillators across Sunderland
By Margaret Crosby
A plan to improve the provision of lifesaving Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) across Sunderland has been given the backing of city councillors in a bid to save more lives.
The campaign was brought to a meeting of all 75 city councillors held on 17th November by Liberal Democrat councillor Margaret Crosby who wanted the Council to look at installing more defibrillators - as well as providing better information and publicity about where the machines are located in all parts of the city.
Following the debate and vote, Sunderland Council will now review provision of defibrillators in council owned spaces across the city and bring forward an action plan by February next year to roll out more of the life saving machines across Sunderland.
Any defibrillators on council land and property will also be registered with The Circuit, the new National Defibrillator Network run by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executive, the Resuscitation Council & St Johns Ambulance, which will help people locate their nearest AED in case of an emergency.
Speaking after the Council meeting, Councillor Margaret Crosby said:
"After my father had life-saving heart surgery I always kept an eye out for where the nearest defibrillators are when we were out and about - but that is often easier said than done.
"That's why I brought forward this campaign to ask Sunderland Council not only to improve coverage of defibrillators across the city in conjunction with great community groups and charities like the British Heart Foundation and the Sunderland-based Red Sky Foundation - but also to increase publicity and awareness about where AEDs are located and how they can be accessed in an emergency.
"It is fantastic news that this initiative received cross party support from all city councillors, and it was very moving to hear personal stories from councillors who had personally experienced medical emergencies and the commitment to supporting defibrillator charities in our communities.
"I look forward to the Council bringing forward an action plan in the new year to look at increasing defibrillator provision and making sure all AEDs in the city are registered with the new national defibrillator network providing a single place where people can find their nearest machine in an emergency situation."