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Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm’s New Defibrillator Initiative

23 Jan 2023

Pen Y Cymoedd’s 76 wind turbines produces enough electricity to power 15% of Welsh homes annually. Now they’re helping to sustain the power of Welsh hearts in over 78 locations in Wales.

There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year and, without immediate treatment, 90 to 95 per cent of sudden cardiac arrest victims will die.

Survival increases by 67 percent with immediate access to a life-saving defibrillator, but until January 2023, there were not enough public access defibrillators in Wales or trained people to give victims the best chance of survival during those first few critical minutes.

As a result, The Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund and Calon Hearts embarked on a ground breaking initiative at the beginning of 2022 by installing 78 public access defibrillators in the upper reaches of the Neath, Afan, Cynon and Rhondda Valleys in the fund area of benefit.

The independent Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund CIC is responsible for managing the £1.8 million a year Fund set up by energy company Vattenfall, the operator of the wind farm.

To kick off the project, Calon Hearts and local community group RCT Heart Heroes contacted communities, local cllrs and other community members to map out what currently is in situ in these areas and the need, identifying 78 locations across all towns and villages that it would be most beneficial to install a defibrillator, including community buildings and private businesses.

“The fund has awarded funds for several defibrillators with community groups and buildings in first few years but recognising that we could be more proactive we approached Calon Heart Screening and Defibrillators Wales and working with them we have funded the installation of 78 public access defibrillators across the fund area. All of the defibrillators are accessible to the public and will be registered on the Circuit”  – Kate Breeze, Executive Director at PyC Wind Farm Community Fund.

Accessibility to a defibrillator is key to saving a life. Each minute that is wasted reduces the chances of saving that life by 10%. Calon Hearts Screening and Defibrillators Wales aims to improve accessibility and availability of lifesaving defibrillators in Wales, which in turn will help improve number of out of hospital cardiac arrest deaths.

“Calon Hearts have arranged installation using local electricians.  They also offered free defibrillator training sessions across the towns and villages to ensure the community is aware of and confident enough to use if an emergency situation were to happen. Accessibility to a defibrillator is key to saving a life and as a fund we are pleased to have been able to work in partnership to ensure there are accessible defibrillators in all the fund area villages and towns.” – Kate Breeze added.

London Hearts are beyond honoured that they could help supply lifesaving equipment to support Calon Hearts and PYC to spread awareness of public access defibrillators and cardiac arrest in Wales.

Kimberley at Calon Hearts added – “We are delighted to have partnered up with PYC Wind Farm and London Hearts on this amazing life-saving initiative, placing 78 public access defibrillators in strategic locations as well as teaching these communities lifesaving skills. With early discussions with PYC going back to 2021, it became apparent that this project was much needed given the gaps and the lack of public access defibrillators in certain areas.”

The unit supplied to the intiative is the advanced and dual functioning Mindray Beneheart C1A defibrillator model. Not only does this model carry out daily self-diagnostic tests, meaning maintenance is extremely limited but more importantly this model can be applied to both an adult and a child at the flick of a switch rather than having to waste time changing the pads

“I cannot thank PYC and Kate Breeze enough for their commitment and hard work in this ground breaking project. I hope these public access defibrillators will never be needed but it is reassuring for these communities that if the worst was ever to happen, these devices will be on hand to save a person’s life.

I would also like to put on record our thanks to David Healy and Steve Davies from @RCT Heart Heroes. This project would not have been possible without their dedication, hard work and unlimited hours of finding suitable locations to providing community sessions. I would also like to say a massive thank you to Livvingale Electricians and ALG Electricians, who assisted with the installations.” Kimberley noted.

London Hearts is the leading defibrillator charity in the UK, supplying to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They ensure that communities obtain the correct defibrillator equipment and athat storage cabinets meet the correct standards, conforming to health and safety and electrical safety requirements.

We welcome applications for charity grant funding from any organisation or fundraiser around the UK! Apply online here

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