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People of Wales urged to Learn, Locate and Donate during Defibruary

St John Ambulance Cymru’s annual Defibruary campaign is back with a bang, with an aim to train even more people in lifesaving first aid skills during the month of February.

The Defibruary campaign aims to raise awareness of defibrillators and highlights their importance in the community. In Wales, more than 6,000 people a year go into cardiac arrest outside of hospital. 80% of those take place at home.

The first aid charity’s campaign will be kicking off at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd in Maesteg, where St John Ambulance Cymru will give defibrillator and CPR demonstrations to all 720 pupils, as well as members of staff at the school.

A number of special guests have been invited to come along to help raise awareness and this event is just one of the many demonstration sessions the charity has planned for February.

Darren Murray, Head of Community Operations at St John Ambulance Cymru said: ”We want people to be confident administering CPR and using a defibrillator, so more people have the skills required to save a life if someone near them is in need.“

“We’re also encouraging people to sign up to one of St John Ambulance Cymru’s premium first aid courses or arrange a free demonstration session for your school or community group which are taking place throughout February.”

The first public events of the campaign will take place at Cardiff’s St Davids Shopping centre, where public demonstrations will be given on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd February from 10am to 4pm.

The campaign will also be urging people to learn where the nearest defibrillator to them is located and register any they are responsible for with The Circuit app, so emergency services can direct people to their closest one in an emergency. You can find out more about The Circuit at http://www.thecircuit.uk.

Throughout the month, St John Ambulance Cymru is asking for donations to fund new public access defibrillators for their buildings in communities across the country. A defibrillator is a lifesaving piece of equipment, so increasing the number of defibrillators in communities, especially remote, rural communities, can mean the difference between life and death.

St John Ambulance Cymru run the campaign because of people like Joe.

52-year-old Joe Hayward was competing in the Gritfest cycling event with a group of friends last June when he suffered an out-of-the-blue cardiac arrest.

His friends and those nearby quickly realised the situation was extremely serious and began CPR immediately.

St John Ambulance Cymru Responders Jack and Sam received an alert of the nearby incident and immediately made their way to Joe’s location. 

The pair assisted with CPR alongside a private medical company and spectators. After 5 shocks from a defibrillator and ongoing CPR, Joe began to breathe again.

The quick action from those around him that day, including the prompt CPR and use of a defibrillator, saved his life. “Those around him were absolutely determined to help him, and we are so thankful for them,” said Joe’s wife, Heather.

Joe’s story is one of many. In Wales, the survival rate following an out of hospital cardiac arrest is less than 5%. St John Ambulance Cymru are determined to change that.

Defibrillators save lives every day, and that’s why it’s so important that the people of Wales feel comfortable in locating and using and their nearest one.

You can find out more about the Defibruary campaign and how you can get involved at https://sjacymru.org.uk/defibruary

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