We Can Guide You, But You Know Your Area Best

There has been much debate since the statement by the BHF in 2009 regarding defibrillator enclosures, and the recent December 2015 statement by the RC(UK). The CHT agrees with the position that all defibrillators should be readily available as and when the need arises. In an ideal world, these would always be stored in unlocked or otherwise easily accessible locations.

Locked cPAd site at Keswick climbing Wall

CHT also recognises that there are instances where the levels of security are such that it is necessary to have these valuable life-saving devices stored in a more secure environment, including locked containers. This is not, as implied in the recent December 2015 RC(UK) statement, to just protect against theft, but also to protect against vandalism, curiosity, weather, mischievousness, and to address the vicarious liabilities for ambulance services and communities. It may also be a condition of any funding agencies. There are several instances of unlocked enclosures being opened and the interior and contents exposed to the elements, resulting in a non-operational status for the defibrillator. To have a fixed view is not beneficial, and flexibility is desirable. It is also worth noting that some enclosures have since the release of the RC(UK) statement suffered incidents of vandalism although this does thankfully remain rare.

Unlocked Rotaid, part of our project with Notts Fire & RescueThe provision of secured locations, including locked cabinets, is often a requirement to meet legislative, insurance, functional and public finance reasons. It is also unreasonable to assume a community that has fundraised through extensive methods, should allow open access to their owned equipment in areas where crime and vandalism is a concern, without some form of security.  The R.C.(U.K.) have agreed with CHT that such exceptions are reasonable. Specifically, the issue of opening a locked box is not “a process that can take several minutes”, but one that takes 3 to 8 seconds, and would be as a result of a rescuer receiving well-communicated instruction as to locality and access via the ambulance service telephone operator. This is an agreed protocol with most ambulance services, except London, who we are advised will not accept any locked cabinet onto their CAD.  Opening a locked, as opposed to an unlocked cabinet, adds very little time to the activation and time to patient process, especially as the vast majority of instances in which such devices are deployed, happen at a different location to that of the immediate locality of the defibrillator. The majority of any delay the locked cabinet presents would be ‘soaked up’ in the time the rescuer actually takes to reach the location of the defibrillator.  Where codes are used, these should be simple and agreed in advance with the ambulance service, and any lock should be mechanically reliable, preferably of stainless steel components, with electronic and aluminium styles avoided due to their inherent issues.

Therefore, the issue is (1) whether a defibrillator is available to the community in a workable state in the first instance, and (2) that this equipment is in a suitable position to be activated in a rapid manner.

In the case of cPADs especially in rural locations, a degree of theft prevention may be desirable, as they are not usually in a location with inherent security, as found in some cities, where defibrillators are stored in areas of higher security such as office foyers, train stations, etc. Further, the cabinets, placed in remote locations and exposed to all weathers, require a level of robustness and internal temperature control not necessarily required in cabinets enclosures used in more conventional and, more often than not, ‘sheltered’ PAD sites. 

The CHT works with local ambulance services throughout the U.K. to ensure access to these defibrillators is achieved in the fastest time possible for that environment and location.

Aside from the factors mentioned already, one other crucial element to consider is the Ambulance Service Activation Radius, which may also influence your decision as to whether to have a locked or unlocked defibrillator cabinet. If a locked enclosure is necessary due to a high rate of vandalism, but you are in an area with a limited activation radius CHT has other services available that may be able to help such as our Volunteer Emergency Telephone System (VETS).

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Please make sure you have read and understood this disclaimer - It will be assumed that you have read prior to CHT receiving any request. CHT are not responsible for your fund raising, nor your cPAD operations, but may assist in both. CHTs only aim is to support the installation of a cPAD scheme in the most cost effective way possible adhering to Best Practice, and help save lives in your community. This website, and any downloaded information, is for information only on how to go about obtaining and installing a cPAD, and other relevant information. All copyrights and trademarks are recognised. All support for the cPAD will be undertaken by the village committee responsible and via standard manufacturers warranties. Any training organisation will only be responsible for the initial awareness training and not for the functioning or maintenance of the AED. Please do not send any monies to CHT until you have registered your scheme with us, and have agreement from the local ambulance service for the establishment of a cPAD scheme. All schemes must be registered with the local ambulance service (CHT will also undertake this or you can do via this site, but this does not remove responsibility for you to notify the local ambulance service of your AED location). 999/112 (ambulance) must always be called prior to using a cPAD equipment. VAT may be applicable if your organisation is not an eligible body as defined by HMRC. All current or historical claims for VAT will be met by the local community. All schemes will be asked to sign an agreement taking responsibility for their own fund raising and donations to CHT, and then the operation and maintenance of the cPAD equipment. All CHT provided schemes will need to manage their maintenance through the WebNoS online system as a condition of CHT support. It is your responsibility to maintain the equipment in working order and to make sure the local ambulance service is aware of this. WebNoS makes this possible and also acts as an audit trail for management of the equipment. Sites provided by CHT and not using WebNoS may be disengaged from the ambulance service CAD systems. Any web site showing defibrillator locations is for information only, and should not be used in preference to dialling 999. CHT works in close cooperation with the UK ambulance services. Always dial 999 in an emergency

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