Wakefield PC speaks of 'life-saving' defibrillators as 10 more are unveiled

Lizzie Jones with fellow campaigners.
Lizzie Jones with fellow campaigners.

A Wakefield police officer who suffered cardiac arrest a year ago has spoken about how he "could have not been here today" without a defibrillator.

PC Colin McNulty had shared his story as emergency services in West Yorkshire have teamed up with another campaigner for a project to install the "lifesaving" devices in key locations across the region.

West Yorkshire Police are campaigned for more of the devices.

West Yorkshire Police are campaigned for more of the devices.

Lizzie Jones, from Halifax, lost her husband to a fatal cardiac arrest while playing rugby, after suffering from an undiagnosed heart condition and has since set up a charity.

Read more: Leeds man's award for defibrillator funding efforts
Community Public Access Defibrillators (CPADs) have been funded by West Yorkshire Police and have been installed outside the force's buildings across the area, placed in secure cabinet that can be accessed by both staff and members of the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Ten new CPADs have been installed across West Yorkshire including those at Trafalgar House, Lawcroft House, Eccleshill, Halifax, Todmorden, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Chapel Allerton, Elland Road Police Station and most recently Northgate in Wakefield

Yorkshire Ambulance Service is also working with the force to carry out a number of training sessions with the devices for officers, staff and partners, and the first is taking place today.

Ten new defibrillators have been unveiled across West Yorkshire.

Ten new defibrillators have been unveiled across West Yorkshire.

A defibrillator is a safe and easy to use device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart to someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Read more: Heart charity calls for more public defibrillators
On 18 March 2017, PC Colin McNulty collapsed while carrying out a fitness test at West Yorkshire Police's Training and Development having suffered cardiac arrest.

Officers and staff used a nearby defibrillator, by connecting it to his chest.

The machine analysed his heart rhythm and automatically administered a shock to PC Colin McNulty’s heart.

He was rushed to Pinderfields Hospital for urgent medical treatment where he remained for two weeks. He had surgery to have three stents fitted to a narrowing artery and also had an implanted defibrillator fitted. He has since made a full recovery.

PC Colin McNulty, of Wakefield District Police, said: "I was told by a consultant at the hospital that if my colleagues hadn't had access to a defibrillator when I collapsed, I could have not been here today.

"I am forever grateful to the swift actions of the officers who helped me that day.

"It's so important to not only have these devices in work places, but also at access points for the general public; they are quite literally a life-saving piece of kit."

Lizzie Jones set up the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund and has tirelessly campaigned for defibrillators to be installed into all grass root rugby clubs across the country, with the eventual aim for every sporting venue, schools and community centre to have them.

Lizzie said: “A defibrillator is a remarkable, life-saving device which can help revive a patient who has a cardiac arrest.

"The Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund aims to provide grants to help get as many AED’s out to the public as possible.

"The effect the charity has in just over two years has been incredible and I couldn’t be prouder that lives are being saved every day in Danny’s memory. His legacy is very powerful one.”

Deputy Chief Constable John Robins at West Yorkshire Police, said: "I am delighted to support this project and work alongside our colleagues at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and with support from the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund.

"We are committed to ensuring the safety of not only the communities we serve, but also for our own officers and staff. Defibrillators are essential in an emergency situation and can provide lifesaving aid to someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest.

"A total of ten new Community Public Access Defibrillators have now been installed at key locations across our Force area, which are ready and available for police officers, staff and also crucially the general public to use in an emergency.

"We have been working closely with colleagues at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service who are now coming into the Force to carry out a number of familiarisation sessions with officers, staff and the public to ensure that everyone has the knowledge and understanding on how these devices can be used to administer life-saving emergency treatment."

The distinctive yellow cabinets can be accessed in an emergency by dialling 999.

The ambulance service will guide the caller to the nearest CPAD and give them a code to unlock the cabinet and remove the defibrillator.

All of the units are fully automated, providing verbal instructions to the user.

They are specifically designed to be used without the need for any training, but the Ambulance Service can offer sessions to those who request them.

There are also defibrillators available in public places across the region including train stations, shopping centres, airport and leisure centres.

Dave Jones, Community Defibrillation Officer at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be working with West Yorkshire Police on this project and to be able to provide familiarisation sessions to staff.

“Defibrillators can be used by anyone, but having awareness of how they work beforehand can help people feel more confident about using them. It can also save vital time in the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest.

“We know that if we can get a defibrillator on someone within the first two or three minutes of a cardiac arrest happening, there’s about an 85 per cent chance of survival.

For every minute in time delay, not having equipment available and waiting for an ambulance to arrive, they’ll lose somewhere between seven per cent and 10 per cent of a chance, so having a defibrillator nearby can make a massive difference.”

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