A life saving defibrillator will soon be close at hand for Luton shoppers thanks to a new partnership.
Marks & Spencer has agreed to place 40 units in its stores across the region, one of which will be mounted in the retailer’s branch in the Mall Luton.
The defibrillators are being provided by the East of England Ambulance Service, which is installing units in 1,000 locations by the end of March.
The devices, which can be accessed by a member of staff or the public, are going into schools, libraries, sports centres, village halls, and shops to be used when a person goes into cardiac arrest.
A defibrillator can make a vital difference in the first few minutes before an ambulance crew or responder reaches a patient who isn’t breathing and whose heart has stopped.
An AED is a simple device to use, but training sessions will be provided at the locations that receive one.
Andrew Barlow, a community partnership manager for EEAST, said: “We want to maximise the potential benefit of these defibrillators by placing them in high priority and busy locations, which will help patients before the arrival of a community first responder or front-line ambulance worker.
“It is great news that M&S has got involved in this ambitious project.
“This investment will help improve coverage in our communities and will undoubtedly help save lives and improve the outcomes for patients when they are called upon.”
Keith Davis, fire, health and safety manager at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our position at the heart of community high streets and large footfall shopping destinations means that our stores are perfect venues to host defibrillators. They save lives and we know that by having them in our stores across the East of England, they will save a life in an M&S store in the future.
“We’re training our first aiders to use them in our stores and with the support of the East of England Ambulance Service; we are making shopping safer than ever before.”