Following requests from residents, Fairfield Parish Council (FPC) has purchased and will install two new Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Fairfield. One will be installed on the back of the bin store at Harlington House, the apartment block in Fairfield Gardens, and another on the Fairfield Hall waste compound (off Eliot Drive and Hardy Way). The residents of Fairfield Gardens and Fairfield Hall will pay the electricity costs – which amount to £3 per year.

An AED is a portable lifesaving device that can give a casualty’s heart an electric shock when it has stopped beating. It works by checking the casualty’s heart rhythm through pads placed on their chest, and giving a shock if needed. These devices are incredibly easy to use: they ‘talk’ to you and give precise and reassuring directions. They can be used on adults and on children over one year old, and using one before an ambulance arrives can increase a casualty’s chance of survival significantly. A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone. Every year approximately 55 out of every 100,000 people experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, with most of these occurring in the home or workplace. CPR is attempted by a bystander in seven out of 10 cases, but a public-access AED is currently used in less than one in 10.

The presence of two additional devices in Fairfield will bring the total to five, with three available around the clock. Until now, only the AED outside Tesco has been accessible at all times, although there are also devices at Fairfield Park Lower School and Bannatyne’s which are available when the premises are open. Should you ever need to use an AED you will be given the location of your nearest one and instructions for how to access it (they are codeprotected) by the emergency services over the phone – but knowing where they are in advance will help you to act more quickly.