Norwich Cathedral first for life-saving equipment

Norwich Cathedral has become one of the first in the country to install a life-saving defibrillator which is accessible to the public round-the-clock.

The automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses and treats people in cardiac arrest.

AEDs have been shown to greatly improve survival rates and, with the Anglican cathedral's key location in the city and its position as a popular attraction for tourists, the installation will benefit visitors and the local community alike by helping to provide a quick response to an emergency.

The new defibrillator has been mounted in a secure cabinet on the side of 12 The Close, and the access code can be given out to members of the public who call 999 in the event of a cardiac arrest emergency.

Lay Canon Jane Rivett said it was a joint collaboration between the cathedral and Norwich School, which has already seen five other defibrillators strategically placed in buildings around the cathedral area and 35 members of staff given training in how to use them.

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However, these are only able to be used when buildings are open, and the new defibrillator will be available to the wider community 24/7 and comes with voice prompts so it can be used by anybody.

She said: 'This is about the school and the cathedral providing a service to the community at large. The optimum time to get to someone with a defibrillator is three minutes, so to have these devices distributed across this large area means that it will be easier and quicker to get help to those who need it.'

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Andrew Barlow, community partnership manager for the East of England Ambulance Service, said: 'AEDs save lives so the more we can get into areas of high footfall the better.

'Norwich Cathedral is the perfect place to locate one. As well as the regular congregation and many visitors this is a residential area with a popular school as well as bars and restaurants.

'In addition, the various AED sites nearby look after evening visitors to Tombland, which is a popular night-time destination.'

For more information about AEDs and ambulance service training please contact

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