Vertu Motors plc, the fifth-largest automotive retailer in the UK, is installing life-saving defibrillators in all of its dealerships at a cost of more than £100,000.
With 160 sales outlets nationwide, defibrillators will soon be available in all Bristol Street Motors, Vertu Motors, Vertu Motorcycles and Macklin Motors dealerships.
The roll-out first began in March and should be finished by the end of May, with each defibrillator costing £650.
According to the British Heart Foundation, there are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year. Research has shown that deploying a defibrillator within 3–5 minutes of collapse can produce survival rates as high as 50–70%.
Kevin Middlemiss, Health & Safety Manager at Vertu Motors plc, said: “Safeguarding the health and safety of our colleagues, customers and visitors at our sites is of paramount importance.
“We never rest on our laurels and are continuously risk assessing and, where necessary, will update safety procedures and systems to meet changing circumstances and practices.
“We have colleagues trained in first aid, but a defibrillator enhances a person’s chances of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest, so we are pleased to be rolling them out across all our dealerships.”
Kevin added: “The beauty of defibrillators these days is that they are really easy to use.
“The machine literally talks users through how to attach the defibrillator pads - it will then assess the heart rhythm and will only tell people to deliver a shock if it's needed.”
Robert Forrester, Chief Executive of Vertu Motors plc, said: “Installing these defibrillators is an extension of the duty of care we are committed to providing in all our dealerships.
“In addition, in case of a medical emergency, the devices will provide some reassurance to our colleagues, customers and any members of the nearby community.
“Defibrillators have the potential to be real life savers and will buy people time until an ambulance crew arrives in the event of someone taking ill in one of our dealerships.”
As the roll-out continues, dealership colleagues are being shown how to use the defibrillators, and there also is a video on the Group’s internal communications system where they can refresh their knowledge at any time.