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Ed Balls MP supports St John Ambulance call for life saving defibrillators

Ed Balls MP and campaigner Cody Hartley 

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Ed Balls is backing a campaign to get more defibrillators into schools and work places with a visit to St John Ambulance's West Yorkshire offices.

Surprisingly simple to use

The MP for Morley and Outwood was told the machine – called an AED or Automated External Defibrillator – could mean the difference between a life lost and a life saved in the case of a heart attack.

During his visit to St John Ambulance's offices in Ossett, Wakefield, on Wednesday 21 August, Ed also praised 11-year-old schoolgirl Cody Hartley who contacted him about raising money for AEDS in local schools.

He said: 'I'm sure most people would think defibrillators are really difficult to use but as I have learned today at St John Ambulance it's surprisingly simple.'

'Cody has done some fantastic work to get a defibrillator into her primary school, and with the help of St John Ambulance, she is on track to get more of these life saving machines for her community. She is planning to continue fundraising and I will be supporting her.'

'And I'm backing St John Ambulance's campaign to raise awareness of these devices and the benefits they could bring to workplaces, schools and community organisations' added Ed.

An important piece of equipment

St John Ambulance is urging businesses and organisations visited by significant numbers of members of the public to keep one to hand.

Training Manager Fred Owen from St John Ambulance said: 'An AED is an important piece of equipment that can save lives in the minutes after someone suffers a cardiac arrest. The machine shocks the heart back into action and can be operated by most people regardless of the level of their first aid knowledge, although training is recommended.'

'In the UK, one person suffers a heart attack every six minutes and as many as one in three will die before they reach hospital. For each minute that passes without defibrillation, the chances of survival fall by up to 10 per cent. However, survival rates increase by more than 50% if an AED is used within the first four minutes.'