Businesses are being invited to support a life-saving scheme that will make Liverpool a heart safe city centre.

Medicash and Liverpool BID Company have joined forces with the North West Ambulance Service to install defibrillators across the city centre.

The life-saving machines are to be installed in key locations by the end of summer.

Through the ‘CardiACT’ scheme, local businesses are being offered a 50% discount if they want to install a device, which usually costs £1,200. They will also receive free training and after care support, which would normally cost over £500.

The aim is to ensure that no-one is more than two minutes away from a defibrillator in Liverpool city centre.

Evidence shows the chances of survival from a cardiac arrest is 80% if a device is used within that time. Without a defibrillator, the chances of survival reduce to just 2%.

BID businesses are already signing up to the scheme – with property managing firm CBRE ordering 9 for their key city centre buildings – and the aim is for as many employers as possible to get involved.

Liverpool city centre already has publicly accessible defibrillators in all major travel stations and shopping centres such as Cavern Walks, Metquarter, Clayton Square, Liverpool ONE and St Johns Shopping Centre.

Sue Weir, CEO of Medicash, said: “According to the British Heart Foundation there is one heart attack every three minutes in the UK. Defibrillators are vital, potentially life-saving devices and should be as common in public places as fire extinguishers. This is an important campaign and we want as many businesses to sign up as possible and help make Liverpool ‘heart safe’ as quickly as we can.”

Robert Hussey Community Resuscitation Manager at North West Ambulance Service said: “Each year approximately 100,000 people die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest in the UK, many in public places so we are delighted to be involved in this life saving initiative which will significantly enhance our existing defibrillator provision within the city.”

Bill Addy, Chief Executive of Liverpool BID Company, whose son David died at the age of 10 in 1996 following a heart attack in his school playground, said: “Everyone needs to treat defibrillators like a first aid kit. None of us would think for a second about having a first aid kit in our business. Ensuring the city centre is covered with them will be a huge achievement and will save untold lives in the years to come.’’

Businesses looking to get involved in the ‘CardiACT’ scheme should contact [email protected] or call 0151 233 4733.

Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson is backing the campaign and joined representatives from Medicash, NW Ambulance Service, CBRE and the BID company at the official launch of CardiACT in St Paul’s Square in Liverpool’s Commercial District.

Ricky, who underwent quadruple heart by-pass surgery in 2007, said: “Having more defibrillators across the city needs to be a priority and it’s great that Medicash and Liverpool BID company have got together to make this happen. Just saving one life would be great but with this scheme we’re looking at dozens which is just fantastic.”


***Please note, due to the current pressure on the NHS and ambulance service, the inclusion of free training has temporarily been suspended***