LIFE-saving defibrillators have been installed in New Brighton after a community support officer saw a need for them in the seaside town.

The portable machines - which are used to check heart rhythm in an emergency - can now be found at the lifeboat station, the Travelodge at Marine Point and New Brighton community centre. 

Their installation was made possible due to combined efforts of Police Community Support officer Darren Widdowson, North West Ambulance Service, Merseyside Police, the RNLI, Wirral Council, Magenta Living and staff at Marine Point.

Darren has worked in New Brighton for more than five years and had been made aware of several incidents of people having suffering a sudden cardiac arrest whilst out and about. 

After one particular incident he decided that a public accessible Automated External Defibrillators were needed in the town.

They were unveiled during a launch on Friday and are for use by residents and visitors.

Wirral Globe:

Community Support officer Darren Widdowson and Northwest Ambulance Service's community resuscitation manager Rob Hussey with the defibrillators during launch. Picture: Geoff Davies

Darren said: "I looked into the idea of funding a defibrillator from a variety of sources and after making a few enquiries I got in touch with Rob Hussey from North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), who pointed me in the right direction as they had already provided AEDs to the New Brighton."

The equipment is small and portable. If the rhythm indicates a cardiac arrest, the defibrillator sends an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm.

A sudden cardiac arrest is fatal in 95 per cent of cases but rapid use of a defibrillator can be life-saving.

Wirral Globe:

The defibrillator is handed over outside New Brighton lifeboat station on Friday. Picture: Geoff Davies

New Brighton Community Centre applied for the ‘Your Wirral’ 2015 funding, available from Wirral Council and Magenta Living, which was used to pay for the defibrillator cabinets.

RNLI and Marine Point have helped to fund the installation costs.

Rob Hussey, NWAS Community Resuscitation Manager for Cheshire and Merseyside said: “The speed of access to a defibrillator is vital when someone is suffering  a cardiac arrest and getting the right care immediately can come down to a matter of seconds whether someone lives or dies.

"That is why we are delighted to support this important initiative by providing and maintaining the AEDs."