Statement on cPAD and community volunteers under the current Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic.

(Updated on the 24/03/20)

Following the announcement of the Prime Minister on 23/3/20, we have updated our guidance re cPAD community defibrillators and VETS schemes. The current issue with Coronavirus/Covid-19 is continuing to cause some concerns over community defibrillators, and also the role and safety of community volunteer groups, such as the community VETS responders.


CHT have prepared a statement for the owners of community defibrillators (cPAD) which can be found here...


cPADs are lifesaving equipment in a community, and time is critical in saving a life. It is highly unlikely that that the equipment will transmit the disease, but following the regular cleaning regimen outlined above, this will help alleviate any concerns. Attending any rescue, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) should be worn, and gloves, face masks, etc are stored with all defibrillators to help. You may like to have your own gloves and face masks available. These can be acquired online, from many outlets, but catering and hardware stores such as B&Q keep stocks, as well as pharmacies and medical suppliers. It is important that the defibrillator equipment continues to be checked, and cleaned, regularly, and given the restricions on open acess, this can be undertaken when passing. Visiting a community defibrillator to maintain is considered essential travel.


If a defibrillator needs to be used, the patient is in a severe life-threatening situation. If the patient is already Covid-19 infected, and is in a serious condition, they are likely to be in hospital anyway, and thus as a member of the public, you are unlikely to be in attendance, unless a relative. If in doubt take the guidance of the ambulance service operator. As bystanders, in accordance with CPR current guidelines, there should be no mouth to mouth rescue breaths, so chest compressions only followed by defibrillation if available. The ambulance service operator will only advise you to undertake compression only CPR anyway. Most modern defibrillators default to this as well. If your defibrillator is co-located with a book exchange in a kiosk, then we suggest removing the books for the period of this crisis, and also cleaning the kiosk, particularly the door handle.


Where a community has a volunteer responder group, such as VETS, these responders are volunteers, and it is their choice entirely whether to connect a call and attend the incident. There is no mandatory requirement for you to do so and in light of current concerns should people not wish to leave and attend any incident due to self-isolation, social distancing or other circumstances if a V.E.T.S call is made, they can follow the usual procedure by hanging up the call, without pressing ‘1’ to accept the call, doing so as soon as possible will allow other lines to continue ringing. Ambulance services will not advise members of the public to help if a Covid-19 infection is suspected, and we are informed that apps such as GoodSam and ambulance service voluntary CFR schemes are being stood down in some parts of the country. Some communities are using their VETS systems/or establishing speicialised schemes, to establish a ‘Care for the Elderly’ group. If this is of interest to you, please contact CHT. Do not attend without PPE.


We understand that some, if not many, volunteers will be in the age and possibly health groups considered to be high risk, in which case we would advise that they do not attend any rescues at this time. Those that suspect or have been diagnosed positive for Covid-19 should not leave their house to attend a rescue if in self isolation, in any case. The government advice is that everyone remains at home unless the trip is essential.


The following links are to the current advice from the government and resus council UK for those attending rescues.


If it will make people feel more at ease, we can also temporarily remove VETS volunteers from the system until notified otherwise. This advice may be subject to change pending further updates from the government and would encourage that you also please take note of on-going announcements. For more information please do look at the NHS 111 website, and if you feel unwell, contact 111 direct.



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

Registered Charity Number - 1132824