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New lifesaving defibrillators have been fitted in more than 200 high street stores across the UK and staff are being trained in how to use them.

The equipment is being fitted in all O2’s owned stores in the UK as part of a partnership between The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Virgin Media O2.

In addition, the telecoms company is rolling out the BHF’s online CPR training tool RevivR to its staff and customers – the tool teaches the user CPR and defibrillation skills in 15 minutes using a phone and a firm cushion.

defibrillator trainingAdam Fletcher, Head of Community Health Programmes at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We’re delighted that O2 is equipping its stores with these lifesaving devices and rolling out RevivR to its staff and customers.

“By installing and registering its defibrillators onto The Circuit, O2 is helping to ensure ambulance services can quickly direct bystanders to a defibrillator in the event of a cardiac arrest.

“We’re urging every organisation that owns defibrillators to follow Virgin Media O2’s example by registering their defibrillators on The Circuit. It really could be the difference between life and death.”

There are over 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK and currently fewer than one in ten people survive. When someone has a cardiac arrest, immediate CPR is vital to give someone the best chance of survival. For every minute without CPR and defibrillation, the chance of survival reduces by up to 10 per cent.

Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Officer, Mobile at Virgin Media O2 said: “We’re using our national network of High Street stores to improve access to life-saving defibrillators and make a real difference to the communities we serve.

“It’s not just in stores where we hope we can make an impact; we’ve trained hundreds of our people in lifesaving CPR and zero-rated the BHF website, so millions more people can learn vital skills or offer help in an emergency without using any of their data.

“With every second counting in a crisis, and CPR training taking just 15 minutes, there’s never been a better time to learn how to save a life.”

The defibrillators in O2’s stores are in the process of being registered on The Circuit, The National Defibrillator Network.

Its aim is to map all public access defibrillators, so that when someone has a cardiac arrest, 999 call handlers can direct bystanders to the nearest registered defibrillator while they wait for the ambulance to arrive.

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