A NEW lifesaving piece of equipment has been installed outside a doctor’s surgery in Tavistock for the public to use in the event of an emergency.

Tavyside Health Centre recently purchased and installed the defibrillator, which is located on the outside of the surgery building.

Dene Medland, practice manager at Tavyside, said: ‘Tavyside Health Centre has three defibrillators and following a campaign by a local resident, Paul Johnson, to get more defibrillators placed throughout the town and its surroundings, I discussed it with the partners and they agreed to locate one outside the building. The cabinet to house the defibrillator was funded by the partners.’

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy shock to the heart through the chest to someone who is in cardiac arrest. The high energy shock is called defibrillation and it’s an essential, lifesaving step in the chain of survival.

Mrs Medland added: ‘To access the defibrillator, there is a large red button on the front which needs to be pushed in. This will light up the cabinet and drop the drawer with the defibrillator in it. The cabinet is covered by CCTV and is alarmed, which will sound upon activation of the red button.

‘We feel it is important to have this equipment readily available to the public as prompt access to the equipment could save a life.’

The defibrillator is in the process of being registered with the South West Ambulance Service Trust, which will allow 999 operators to quickly identify it as a nearby device in future emergencies.