Automotive Group Arnold Clark has invested over £150,000 in purchasing more than 164 AED defibrillators.
These will be installed within their branches all over the UK to help both staff and customers – as well as the wider community – in case of an emergency.
Arnold Clark Chief Executive and Group Managing Director, Eddie Hawthorne, said: “Hundreds of people visit Arnold Clark every day – our employees, our customers, our suppliers, our manufacturers and just general visitors to our sites.
“So we are taking a stand in our local community to make sure we provide a service that’s valuable – and that’s to make sure there’s a defib machine in our garages.
“Even when we are closed, there are still 21 external defibs available to the wider community.”
As well as investing in equipment, Arnold Clark is investing in its employees, with 400 of the 12,000 staff now trained in both CPR and using a defibrillator unit. Recently the British Heart Foundation visited Arnold Clark’s GTG Edinburgh training centre in order to provide bespoke training to a number of employees.
David McColgan, BHF Scotland’s Interim Head, said: ‘Survival rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK are shockingly low, with less than one in ten people surviving.
“A cardiac arrest is the ultimate medical emergency and with every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, a person’s chance of survival decreases by around 10 per cent. Their chances of surviving are greatly
increased, however, if somebody performs CPR on them. That is why it is so crucial that everybody knows this lifesaving skill.
“Similarly, easily accessible defibrillators provide cardiac arrest patients with a vital lifeline until the ambulance service arrives, and so it is fantastic news that local communities across the country are to benefit from these new defibrillators provided by Arnold Clark, and we look forward to seeing the impact this initiative will have in the future in helping to save lives.”
While there are trained employees at every Arnold Clark site, the defibrillators provide clear instructions to allow anyone to use them, both in writing and in the form of an automated voice.
Once the pads have been correctly attached, it assesses the heart rhythm and will only administer a shock if it is needed.
Arnold Clark has also embarked on an information campaign within the communities they work in, sending leaflets to local businesses to let them know that there are defibrillators on site should they be required.