The RFU have partnered with the Community Heartbeat Trust


The leading charity in community public access defibrillator schemes. CHT work closely with the NHS Ambulance Services, and can provide support to Clubs, Schools, Colleges/ Universities with all aspects of procurement, training, governance and maintenance of automated external defibrillators (AED).

When and how are ​they used?

In the UK approximately 60,000 people sustain cardiac arrest outside hospital and are treated by emergency medical services (EMS) each year. If defibrillation is delivered promptly, initial survival rates as high as 75% have been reported.   

The chances of successful defibrillation decline at the rate of about 10-20% with each minute of delay.

It should be recognised however that CPR (combined chest compression and rescue breathing or chest compressions alone) will help maintain a shockable rhythm until a defibrillator arrives but is not a definitive treatment.

(Defibrillation is not however used in all cases of cardiac arrest, even if available immediately, an AED would not be of use in 25%-30% of heart disturbances caused by cardiac arrest, and CPR is the appropriate treatment)

CPR should be commenced in all cases of cardiac arrest and the AED applied. The AED will analyse the heart rhythm and will advise on whether defibrillation is necessary. 

In just under a 1/3 of cases, defibrillation is not advised but CPR should continue.

Do we need one?

80% of cardiac arrests occur in the home, and of those in public places under 1% occur in a leisure facility or sports ground. 

AEDs are easily used by lay people with some training, and it is recommended by bodies such as the Resuscitation Council UK, that they are of most value when placed in areas where there is a high incidence of cardiac arrest and where it's difficult for an ambulance to get to quickly e.g rural areas, communities with poor road networks or traffic congestion and where large crowds gather.

When considering the purchase of an AED consideration must be given to the cost for ongoing maintenance and regular training of users. The general consensus among experts is that refresher training should occur every 6 to 12 months.

UK Heart Charities collectively have supplied more than 8000 defibrillators in community settings but still advocate that:

"It would be better if more people were trained in CPR, which buys time before defibrillation." 

Being able to do CPR more than doubles the chance of survival. this can be taught as part of a first aid course and the RFU's emergency First Aid course includes CPR training - more information on this and other courses is available at

Community Heartbeat will.. 

  • Provide Best Practice guides for clubs
  • Provide a variety of equipment based upon CHT's tier system to give clubs a choice and to reflect local ambulance service requirement if appropriate (Tier 1 AED: Suitable for the untrained user, Tier 2 AED: Suitable for a trained user)
  • Undertake all registrations with the local Ambulance Service on behalf of clubs
  • Provide Access to the WebNos Governance System - RFU will be given supervisor access showing all rugby clubs participating are adhering to all aspects of their governance 
  • Provide training resources (Training guides for clubs, trainers if required)
  • Offer a "Managed Solution" service where required (includes insurances and replacement equipment if lost or damaged for Tier 1 equipment only)
  • Survey and review any existing defibrillator placements and make recommendations
  • Ensure that clubs are complaint with existing standards and regulations (e.g electrical standards)
  • All external cabinets will carry the RFU logo 
  • Provide DRsABCD posters for clubs

RFU will ask clubs to work with CHT

The Process

If you are looking to start a project or obtain an AED for your club please click on the enquiry link below or e-mail




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