"You don't have to be a fireman to use a fire extinguisher, you don't have to be a paramedic to use a defibrillator."

Congratulations! You have made the right decision to investigate providing a defibrillator for your community. We work with you every step of the way to implement your project, bringing it to completion and ensuring it is fully supported and continues to function correctly for years to come.
For a brief overview of things to consider read on or to get your project started now contact us.


Choosing where to site a defibrillator is a good first step. Usually, it is best to identify areas with a high footfall and that allows relatively easy access to equipment should it be required in an emergency. For these reasons, it is not uncommon for Village Halls, Pubs, Shops and other centrally located venues to act as hosts for a community defibrillator. Feasibly any site that has a location to draw power from for the defibrillator cabinet, not the defibrillator as it is battery powered, is well lit and easily accessible could host a cPAD.

CHT can provide hosting agreements for those wishing to install a defibrillator, but whom do not own the premises which have been identified as the host site for the equipment. 

A scheme pioneered by Community HeartBeat has also led to local Telephone boxes being a popular choice for communities to repurpose and provide a local defibrillator, as many are centrally located and still have access to power. If you are considering this option we have a whole section dedicated to Converting a Telephone Box for this purpose, as there are some specifications required in order to achieve this.

Regardless of the type of location a key thing to note, however, is that all Ambulance Services have an activation radius for community defibrillators ranging from 200 - 1600 metres depending on the area. In effect, this means that if a 999 call is made outside of this area, the unit may not show up on their systems, and thus the defib will not be activated in a rescue. 



Supporting or purchasing a community defibrillator scheme is not just about the defibrillator and the cabinet. It is very easy for a public body to go down the route of seeking the cheapest combination of defibrillator and cabinet, without taking into account the differences between defibrillators - not all are suitable or ideal for community use - and similarly for the cabinets. For further information visit our section regarding Defibrillators.

In recent years several new makes of "defibrillator cabinet" have appeared on the market. Many of these are not made by specialist cabinet makers, do not comply with many of the rules, regulations and, guidelines issued, and are there to seek sales profit, rather than protect the defibrillator. The first step in assessing which equipment will be fit for purpose is to have an idea of where the unit may be located as above. For instance, IP65 Stainless Steel cabinets when going outdoors will weather for years to come but may not be necessary for an indoor location or Telephone Box in which Mild Steel Cabinets will weather with the added layer of protection in an enclosed kiosk. To see which cabinet may be suitable for you please refer to our Defibrillator Cabinets section.

As a standard with all cPAD sites, CHT provides an Awareness Session for the community, which is not limited to a certain number of people and serves as a way of removing the fear of using the locally provided equipment. Also to address the "lone-rescuer" situation and the Ambulance Service Activation Radius some sites may wish to adopt the Volunteer Emergency Telephone System.

If mobile reception is poor in the local area CHT now has permission from BT to install Emergency 999 Phones back into Telephone Boxes where telephony equipment may have been removed. Such devices can be installed anywhere however and are often sited next to the local cPAD, but can also be installed independently of one. 


As a guide, complete cPAD projects range in cost from approximately £1400 - £2200 depending on the equipment chosen, either with or without VAT as appropriate and we will always strive to provide the best equipment for a project*, whilst working within the budget allocated. 

*Please note that installation is not included as a standard and whilst we advise finding a local electrician will assist with costs CHT can also offer installation for £200.00
The Community Heartbeat Trust (CHT) believe that a genuine cPAD project is more than just a defibrillator in a box, it should be complete, resilient and sustainable providing a holistic approach and therefore we always provide our partner communities opting for a complete scheme with the following services at no additional cost.
  • WebNos cPAD internet based Governance System
  • Post Event Trauma Counseling
  • AED Signage 
  • Rescuer Safety Kit (Hi-Vis Jacket and torch)
  • Community Cardiac Arrest Response Seminar (For as many people as necessary)
  • Fund-raising support for which further information is available here
  • Project Banking Facilities
  • Individual online project donation page
  • Complete policies and procedure pack
  • Post-event patient data downloading (Tier 1 defibrillators only*)
Also, a budget will need to be allocated for maintenance and replacement parts. The costs of these vary but generally with CHT Tier 1* equipment, every two years (and after a rescue) pads will need replacing at approximately £30-40 a set and the battery every 4 years at £166-225.00 depending on the model of AED. 
*Tier 1 equipment is what we suggest is the most suitable for untrained users.
The last cost to consider is the electricity for powering a defibrillator cabinet. We advise that this should be very low, around £3-10 per annum dependent upon climate. 


The Social Action Responsibility And Heroism Act (SARAH) received its Royal assent in April 2015. Covering the area of protection for a lay rescuer in an emergency, this new law will aid the development of community defibrillation and give reassurance to members of the public wishing to act to help in an emergency. However, the placement of community defibrillators is not just about making sure all legal aspects are addressed in the actual rescue. You need the right equipment, the right governance, the right support and the right attitude. Buying "cheap" can mean buying twice.

The owner or responsible people for the defibrillator have a duty of care to bystanders to have the equipment properly maintained and rescue ready, Community Heartbeat assists communities with this by providing an easy to use checking system that keeps a history of the equipment and can be used to flag up any potential problems quickly, all done through WebnoS.

We also provide access to a post-rescue trauma therapist to make sure our communities are being looked after post-rescue where needed in order to provide "Duty of Care".
We believe that adhering to this governance should include support and processes to include all of the following.
  • Making sure all policies and procedures are in place. These include policies covering – Health and Safety; Duty of Care; recommissioning of the defibrillator; planning, listed building and conservation areas; training. 
  • Making sure the right equipment is used, and that this is managed in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and limits (eg temperature) 
  • Sharing data across all stakeholders, along with copies of policies and procedures. 
  • Initial installation records, electrical safety, ‘responsible person’, compliance and equipment manifest  
  • Weekly, Monthly, Annual checks in line with DoH and MHRA recommendations 
  • Instant reports to record usage of the defibrillator, reporting out of action and back in action details.  
  • Reporting to the Resuscitation Council on rescue details  
  • Training and maintenance of training records  
  • Equipment consumable resupply and/or replacements  
  • Statutory notifications, investigations and outcomes, and recording of these 
  • Coroner reports; ambulance service reports; stakeholder reports  
  • A full history and provenance of the equipment, its usage, changes to the configuration, battery and electrode replacement dates, and other required audit information.  
  • Any PLI; theft and damage insurances; and management insurances (assuming the clinical liability is addressed through TPLC) 

The Ambulance Service has their own liability but this is only applicable to when they arrive on the scene to when they leave. CHT also provides public liability to schemes either independently or as part of it's managed solution.


As regards to training, Community Heartbeat provides as part of a cPAD package an awareness session. There is no ‘legal’ requirement to train users in the defibrillator. However, failing to provide and recommend a training regimen may be viewed as being negligent. Thus again we strongly recommend a community has in place a training regimen, that is not just an initial plan but provides for longevity and resilience. Whilst ideal, it is not realistically possible to train all potential users of the equipment in a public setting, and therefore most communities use ‘best endeavours’ to ensure training is made available to the community. It does stress the importance of using equipment that is simple to use and does not place the end ‘untrained’ user into any stress or a difficult situation.
We can also provide Training of different levels to communities who have been supplied their equipment elsewhere. We will send you a form and if you can suggest some dates for training we will work to match them as best we can.



As mentioned previously, CHT can provide installation for £200.00 or as we always advise if a local qualified electrician can be used, this can usually keep the costs to the community and the project down. 
Regardless the installer must be able to produce a certificate to state that the install has been done to British Standards (Usually a BS7671, but can also be referred to as a Minor Electrical Installation Works or Electrical Installation Certificate).
This is to protect both the community and the installer from liability issues and ensure that the device has been fitted correctly. If a local installer is used CHT provide installation instructions for each cabinet type to assist with this.



Whilst there is no accounting for how long the fund-raising or fund procurement stage may be, on confirmation of an order we aim to provide the equipment within 2 weeks time. Once the installation is complete, we will then register your site with your local ambulance service and get you registered onto WebNos. Confirmation from the Ambulance service that your site is now on their system may take a week or so, therefore realistically, completion of a project may take 3-6 weeks from ordering your equipment. If you are having training as well, documentation to book will be provided with the cPAD when it arrives but is generally booked a few weeks after delivery. Also if you are implementing a V.E.T.S scheme and are searching for volunteers this can be done whenever you are ready and does not necessarily have to be in place before your defibrillator is "live".




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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