The SHC and Southern Railway demonstrated one of its life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at Lewes station in support of MP Maria Caulfield’s Private Member’s Bill to make it law that AEDs should be funded and installed in every school and sports centre.

Cardiac patient Steve Morris, whose life was saved by an AED, showed how easy the device is to use in a demonstration on the platform. SHC provided funding for his training and equipment to become a qualified Community Resuscitation Trainer. 

MP Maria Caulfield said: “Simply put defibrillators save lives. Even in the short time it may take an ambulance to get to a cardiac arrest patient, without CPR or a defibrillator their chance of survival drops dramatically. Many people will not be confident or have the energy to perform CPR for any length of time, but a defibrillator gives instructions and does all of the work, meaning almost anyone can use them.

“I am grateful for the excellent work of Sussex Heart Charity and thank Southern Rail for recognising the importance of defibrillators and installing them in so many railway stations in Sussex.”

Govia Thameslink Railway’s Head of Safety Mark Whitley said: “Heart restarters are real life-savers and we’re delighted to have them at so many stations in this county. In partnering with us, Sussex Heart Charity has provided more than half the devices that we’ve installed across our network, which is a fantastically generous contribution.

“Our ambition now is to put them in many more of our railway stations. This combined with Maria Caulfield’s excellent Private Member’s Bill will give the public the vital access we all need to this equipment.”

SHC launched the programme, the first of its kind, three years ago as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations and has invested £100,000 purchasing the AEDs and distinctive green cabinets for them to be mounted in. This pioneering project has created one of the largest concentrations of AEDs on any mainline railway network.