ARNOLD CLARK has spent £150,000 on 64 defibrillators for its branches across the UK to help staff and customers – as well as the wider community – in an emergency.
Chief executive and group managing director Eddie Hawthorne said: ‘Hundreds of people visit Arnold Clark every day – our employees, customers, suppliers, manufacturers and just general visitors to our sites. So we are taking a stand in our local community to make sure we provide a service that’s valuable – and that’s to make sure there’s a defib machine in our garages.
‘Even when we are closed, there are still 21 external defibs available to the wider community.’
As well as investing in the equipment, the dealership group is also investing in its employees, with 400 of the 12,000 staff now trained in CPR and using a defibrillator unit.
The British Heart Foundation visited Arnold Clark’s GTG Edinburgh training centre to provide bespoke training, and the charity’s interim head for Scotland, David McColgan, said: ‘Survival rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK are shockingly low, with fewer than one in 10 people surviving.
‘A cardiac arrest is the ultimate medical emergency, and with every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, a person’s chance of survival decreases by around 10 per cent. Their chances of surviving are greatly increased, however, if somebody performs CPR on them. That is why it is so crucial that everybody knows this lifesaving skill.
‘Similarly, easily accessible defibrillators provide cardiac arrest patients with a vital lifeline until the ambulance service arrives, so it is fantastic news that local communities across the country are to benefit from these new defibrillators provided by Arnold Clark, and we look forward to seeing the impact this initiative will have in the future in helping to save lives.’
The defibrillators also provide clear instructions to let anyone use them, in writing and as an automated voice. Once the pads have been correctly attached, it assesses the heart rhythm and will only administer a shock if needed.
Arnold Clark has sent leaflets to local businesses as well, to let them know there are defibrillators on site if needed.