Installation of defibrillator units in Richmond

NY Highways have installed a number of defibrillator units around Richmond in North Yorkshire after being approached by Heart of Richmond, who have been fundraising to increase access to lifesaving defibrillators in the area since November 2021.

The problem:

More than a million people in the UK are living with heart failure and around 1.4 million have survived heart attacks, according to British Heart Foundation. If someone goes into cardiac arrest, taking rapid action is vital to ensure the patient’s chance of recovery is increased.

As the Richmond area in North Yorkshire is some distance away from major hospitals, having defibrillators/defibs available will help to assist with keeping the patient alive in the time between someone calling 999 and an ambulance arriving.

Heart of Richmond is run by two local businesses (A&E Harmonious Compliance Training Ltd and Neeps & Tatties Greengrocers) with the aim of fundraising for lifesaving defibrillator units to be installed around Richmond, particularly around residential areas.

They realised that in certain areas of Richmond, you would need to travel a considerable distance to find a defib unit. This is not ideal as if someone has a heart attack, every minute counts and could be the difference between life and death.

The solution:

After initially obtaining a grant for their first defibrillator unit on Darlington Road, Heart of Richmond approached NY Highways and North Yorkshire Council to aid with installation.

The installation was successful and further fundraising led to several more defib units being installed by NY Highways on behalf of Heart of Richmond, with the two working closely with North Yorkshire Council to identify suitable locations and solutions.

To install the defibs, NY Highways connect the units up to a light power source, usually a streetlight. They can be mounted on the streetlight itself if suitable, but in many cases, a new post is installed next to the streetlamp with connecting wires running underneath the ground.

The result:

NY Highways has now installed several defib units around Richmond for Heart of Richmond, including: outside St Marys Church, on Richmond Trading Estate, outside Westfield Tennis Club, on Reeth Road, on Gilling Road, the original unit on Darlington Road, and many more.

These units are vital life-saving equipment and it is hoped that having them close to as many residential areas as possible will reduce deaths resulting from cardiac arrests.

Further installations are planned, including one at Richmond Waterfalls, and on Whitefield Drive and Pinders Close. Heart of Richmond predict in total, there will be at least 15 defib units installed in Richmond by the end of 2023.

Hearts of Richmond’s Lee Whitworth said of NY Highways’ work on the defib installations: “The operatives doing the installations have been outstanding, nothing is too much trouble and the guidance and support I’ve received from NY Highways and North Yorkshire Council is excellent.”

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