Published Wednesday 10 June 2015 at 7:41
Blackburn with Darwen Council has been awarded ‘gold’ status at the North West Ambulance Service’s CardiacSmart awards.
The ceremony, which took place at Ewood Park on Friday, June 5, celebrated individuals and organisations from all across the North West who have shown dedication to raising awareness of heart health, basic life support and defibrillators.
The Council picked up the gold award – the highest possible achievement – for its on-going campaign to provide access to life-saving equipment in Blackburn and Darwen town centres, where automatic defibrillators have been installed outside Blackburn Town Hall, Darwen Town Hall and in Blackburn Market.
The defibrillators, which were funded through the Council’s public health budget as part of a wider programme of health and wellbeing improvement, complement those installed across Council buildings for staff use and in other longstanding locations across the borough including children’s centres, leisure centres and schools.
The project was supported by Heart Town in association with the British Heart Foundation.
Two Council staff members were also given individual acknowledgements at the awards: Sarah Drinkwater and Sarah Quinn from the Council’s leisure department who received ‘Life Saver’ awards for their heroic actions in saving the lives of two residents in two separate incidents by using the skills they had learnt through first aid training.
Such incidents show it is a stark reality that anybody who suffers cardiac arrest will die within just a few minutes unless rapid action, including CPR and defibrillation, is taken immediately.
Councillor Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:
This is a fantastic achievement for the Council and for both Sarahs who acted with such heroism. I find it quite reassuring to know that anybody who suffers a cardiac arrest in Blackburn and Darwen town centres and across Council buildings will be very close to a defibrillator. This has been a fantastic project.
Barbara Dunn, British Heart Foundation Community Fundraising Manager for Lancashire, added:
This is great recognition for a vital project. We’ve been delighted to work in partnership on this initiative that has seen the people of Blackburn with Darwen benefit from this life-saving equipment.
Defibrillators can be used on all ages including children, they are programmed to only deliver a shock when absolutely necessary and cannot cause any further harm to a cardiac arrest victim. Make sure you are ready and prepared to use a defibrillator by listening to this how-to guide: