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New state-of-the-art defibrillator installed to save lives at top of Wales’ highest mountain

A BRAND new state-of-the-art defibrillator has been delivered to the top of Wales’ highest mountain to help save lives.

It means that if one of the estimated 400,000 annual visitors to the summit of Snowdon suffers a cardiac arrest, members of the public can begin the ‘chain of survival’ until emergency services arrive.

The new device replaces the previous one located at the Hafod Eryri Visitor Centre, and thanks to advanced technology will no longer require someone to reach the top to check if it’s working.

Usually a Welsh Ambulance Service volunteer would travel on the mountain railway to the 1,085-metre-high peak in order to carry out regular visual checks.

However, the ZOLL AED3 model features smart technology, allowing it to be monitored 24 hours a day from any location using a mobile phone.

It has been jointly funded by the Achub Calon Y Dyffryn group, launched by one of the ambulance service’s Community First Responders (CFR) Tomos Hughes to increase the number of defibrillators in north Wales, and manufacturers ZOLL Medical.

Tomos, from Cerrigydrudion also runs the Uwchaled CFR team, and took the train to the summit of Snowdon on Wednesday morning (23 August 2017) to put the new device in place.

He said: “It’s really good news that a state of the art remote defibrillator is now available in one of the most remote locations you can think of.

“The more defibrillators we have in the community, the more it increases the chances of survival of someone suffering cardiac arrest.

“It’s been used twice this year and deployed three times, so I’ve been up there three times to check on it. Now we can do that from a smart phone anywhere in the world.

“It wouldn’t have been possible to provide this without the support of the public in Wales and our partnership with ZOLL Medical.”

As a CFR, Tomos has been trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service to administer basic first aid skills, recognise cardiac conditions, deliver cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use a defibrillator.

In 2015 he established Achub Calon y Dyffryn (Saving the Heart of the Valley), which has set up 177 public access defibrillator sites in the region, and trained approximately 3,000 people to use them and administer CPR.

A cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition, which occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body and breathing ceases.

Around 8,000 out of hospital sudden cardiac arrests happen in Wales every year, and chances of survival are increased when a defibrillator is applied or CPR is carried out.

Adrian Waller, UK sales manager for ZOLL Medical, was also at the peak to hand over the new defibrillator.

He said: “The outstanding feature of the ZOLL AED3 is that it gives the rescuer live feedback on the rate and depth of chest compressions when they’re doing CPR, which is clinically proven to improve outcomes quite significantly.

“Normally when the defibrillator carries out its own self-test someone would have to visually inspect the device on a regular basis. This will actually send a report using WiFi technology so that the owners can determine its status.

“It’s really positive for visitors that this defibrillator is there to be used at the top of Snowdon whenever it’s needed.”

Editor’s notes

Picture captions: SnowdonDefib1: The new ZOLL AED3 defibrillator has been located at the top of Snowdon.

SnowdonDefib2: Welsh Ambulance Service Community First Responder Tomos Hughes and Adrian Waller, UK sales manager for ZOLL Medical, delivering the new defibrillator at Snowdon’s summit.

For more information, please call Communications Officer Liam Randall on 01745 532511 or 07841 840 632 or email  

24 Aug 2017 11:00

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