Lifesaving defibrillators are being rolled out across railway stations in the North West to help save people in cardiac arrest.
The £134,000 investment by Network Rail and train operator Northern will create a network of 90 stations all with the vital medical kit.
Every minute that passes by until a defibrillator is used reduces someone’s chances of survival.
In the next phase of the rollout, 40 defibrillators will be installed across the North West by specialist suppliers Aero healthcare.
Blackburn is the first Lancashire station to benefit, with Bamber Bridge, Poulton-le-Fylde, St-Annes-on-the-Sea, Lytham, Leyland and Kirkham & Wesham stations set to follow over the coming weeks.
Maise Hogan, sponsor at Network Rail, said: “As we welcome more people back to the rail network, passengers can not only expect reliable and on time services, but also safer journeys thanks to our £134,000 investment in defibrillators.
“It means that those who suffer a cardiac arrest, will have a much better chance of staying alive thanks to these light, portable devices that can be quickly deployed to help restore a normal heart rhythm.”
Chris Jackson, regional manager at Northern said: “I would like to thank Network Rail for funding a total of 40 new defibrillators to be installed across our network, bringing the total across our network to 90.
“All our defibrillators are publicly accessible, so they are of huge benefit, not only to those travelling with us, but also the communities we serve and they will make a positive impact for the North. We will continue to work hard to introduce defibrillators at even more of our stations.”
Kate Hollern, MP for Blackburn, said: “I was absolutely delighted to be invited to Blackburn Railway Station to unveil the defibrillator. This technology is already saving lives around the country so I’ve no doubt the facility at Blackburn will give reassurance to anyone who gets into difficulties.
“The location of the defibrillator, in the station foyer – meaning that it is even accessible should there be an incident out on Cathedral Square – makes absolute sense; and I’m also proud to see Blackburn once again leading the way with the first such station based defibrillator in Lancashire”.
Each defibrillator comes with step by step spoken instructions built into the unit which explain how to use it on someone in an emergency.
The computers inside the defibrillators work by analysing people’s heart rhythms to find out whether an electric shock is needed. If required, electrodes then automatically deliver the shock.
These healthcare upgrades form part of a wider £134,000 railway investment in stations in Cheshire, Merseyside and Cumbria.
Photo credit: Network Rail