The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service is committed to increasing the number of people who survive an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA). To help us strengthen the Chain of Survival it is important that we know where Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are located and that they are in good working order and ‘emergency ready’.
If you are the Co-ordinator/Owner/Guardian of an AED (also called a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD), it is important that you register it with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. The information you give will be used by our Ambulance Control Centre when they receive a 999 call for a cardiac arrest. Using the information you have provided, our staff will signpost the caller to the nearest AED. This will help to increase the chance of survival of the person having the cardiac arrest. To register a defib please visit the NIAS website iplease go to www.nias.hscni.net and click on Register your AED
At the time of the call, Control Centre Staff will ensure that Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) can be commenced and once ongoing will advise of the AED location for another person to acquire. This is in line with the Chain of Survival, ensuring that chest compressions are being carried out while an AED is being located if available.
Community of Lifesavers
As part of the community planning process the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) and Sport NI have been working in partnership on the roll out of the Community Resuscitation Action Plans across the 11 District Council areas. Currently 5 areas have agreed to implement the plans and are delivering the actions. These are:
- Mid Ulster District Council
- Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
- Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
- Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council
- Ards and North Down Borough Council
A key action of each plan is to ensure that more people are trained in CPR, which is seen as a vital component in the chain of survival. Sport NI in conjunction with the NI Ambulance Service, and local councils have devised the ‘Community of Lifesavers’ programme to supplement previous work towards community resuscitation and the provision of Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs).
In order to most effectively roll out this programme to the community; we require volunteers with an interest in training others to register their interest in delivering Emergency Life Support (ELS) training (including CPR) as a Heartstart Instructor and cascade this vital lifesaving information to their communities. A Heartstart Instructor will follow a ‘train the trainer’ concept where ELS training sessions across sporting organisations will be planned and delivered. Training equipment will be stored at agreed locations within each council and provided to the Heartstart Instructors when delivering a training session through this programme. Volunteers must be able to carry out at least 2 sessions between April 2020 and March 2021.
In addition to a desire to increase CPR capacity in communities, the ideal volunteer would be confident in delivery of ELS training and as it is a very practical course, be physically able to demonstrate the practical elements during the training sessions. Communication will be key to this, as this will be the primary method in conveying the key messages and increasing the confidence of others to undertake emergency techniques such as CPR in an emergency situation.
For more information on the Volunteer Heartstart Instructor Role please click here.
To download an Expression of Interest form to become a volunteer please click here.