Lifesaving gear is now in place

Waves Leisure Centre at Whitley Bay celebrates the arrival of Automatic External Defibillators for use in the event of a medical emergency at the centre and seen with the machine are (left to right-back four) Paul Brolly-North East Ambulance Service, Matthew Burton-North Tyneside Council, Kevin Fitzpatrick-British Heart Foundation, Lynsey McCabe-NEAS and (front) Coun Les Miller.

Waves Leisure Centre at Whitley Bay celebrates the arrival of Automatic External Defibillators for use in the event of a medical emergency at the centre and seen with the machine are (left to right-back four) Paul Brolly-North East Ambulance Service, Matthew Burton-North Tyneside Council, Kevin Fitzpatrick-British Heart Foundation, Lynsey McCabe-NEAS and (front) Coun Les Miller.

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ENHANCED life-saving equipment and skills are now on hand at borough leisure centres.

Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are held at five leisure centres run by North Tyneside Council for use by trained staff in the event of a cardiac arrest.

The machines were bought by the council in partnership with the British Heart Foundation.

The North East Ambulance Service has now trained staff how to use them.

The machines can also be used in the nearby vicinity if staff would arrive before a professional crew.

Coun Glynis Barrie, cabinet member with responsibility for adult health and well-being, said: “The health and safety of customers who use our leisure centres is our first priority.

“I welcome this new initiative as it greatly increases the chances of survival for someone who suffers a cardiac arrest.

“While the equipment is primarily for use in our leisure centres, the locations of some of our facilities means it could be vital elsewhere too.”

Ellen Mason, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support North Tyneside Council by providing part-funding for these AEDs.

“If someone has a cardiac arrest their chances of survival reduce by around ten per cent for every minute that passes without defibrillation.

“Therefore, it’s really important to have these AEDs close by and people who feel confident using them.”

NEAS community resuscitation development co-ordinator Lynsey McCabe added: “We are delighted to be able to work with and provide ongoing support to North Tyneside Council on this project by providing their staff with basic life support training.

The AEDs are at Waves, the Parks Sports Centre, Tynemouth Pool, the Lakeside Centre and Hadrian Leisure Centre.