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A top tourist attraction in the heart of a seaside town has installed a defibrillator which could potentially save the lives of residents and tourists alike.
The Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare has positioned the device in the entrance area of the main Pavilion, putting it within easy reach of thousands of people.
Staff at the attraction, including ride attendants, food and beverage staff, events and management staff, have been trained in how to operate it.
Defibrillators deliver high-energy electric shocks to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.
Michelle Michael, Director of the Grand Pier, said: “To provide effective help to someone who is in cardiac arrest, a defibrillator needs to be found as quickly as possible.
“The British Heart Foundation says that, for every minute it takes for the device to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival reduce by up to ten percent.
“Businesses can play a big part in creating a nation of life-savers. Having a defibrillator on the Pier, for the use of anyone, and training our staff, means that more people will know what to do, and be confident in doing it, when someone has a cardiac arrest.
“Cardiac arrests can happen to anyone, at any time. There is research which says that if a defibrillator is used and effective CPR is performed within three to five minutes of cardiac arrest, the chance of someone surviving increases from six percent to 74 percent.
“Therefore, it makes perfect sense for a defibrillator to be positioned at the Pier, because of the sheer volume of people who visit us every year.
“Of course, we are hoping that it will never be needed, but if someone does suffer a cardiac arrest in the area, then they may now have a better chance of recovering.
“This is something we are pleased to be able to do, for the benefit of the town, not just its residents but the many holidaymakers and day trippers who visit every year.”
Although the Pier has trained its staff in how to use the device, anyone can use a publicly accessible defibrillator, and the Pier’s device is easy to find at the Pavilion entrance.
It has very clear instructions on how to attach the pads. The technology within the device will then assess heart rhythm and will only instruct the user to deliver a shock if it is needed; you cannot deliver a shock accidentally.
For full details of the wide range of rides, attractions, events and activities available at the Grand Pier all year round, visit www.grandpier.co.uk