Lifesaving defibrillator installed at White River Place

Mon 10th November 2014

A potentially lifesaving piece of emergency equipment to help people suffering heart attacks has been installed in St Austell thanks to White River Place teaming up with Cornish charity FLEET to provide the town with its first Public Access Defibrillator (PAD).

Public Access Defibrillators can deliver a high energy electric shock to help restart the heart and are designed to be simple and safe to use. The defibrillator has been donated by FLEET and is located in White River Place’s Aylmer Square.

Following the installation of this first defibrillator, White River Place will begin a fundraising campaign to raise £3,000 for a second defibrillator to be placed at another location in St Austell town centre.

Public Access Defibrillators are there for anyone to use on someone in cardiac arrest and require no training to operate, with the machines giving clear spoken instructions. When calls are received by Ambulance Control through the 999 system, if cardiac arrest is indicated the Control Officer can direct the caller to the nearest defibrillator while the ambulance is on the way.

Installation of the defibrillator was carried out by White River Place’s maintenance provider Cofely, working closely with Rowe’s Bakery and Costa Coffee. 

Richard Hurst, White River Place Centre Manager said: “Public Access Defibrillators can save lives, and every community should be able to have access to one in case of emergencies. FLEET has done an incredible job of raising money to install them across Cornwall, and we are very pleased to be able to provide the location for the first one in St Austell.

“We are now going to start our own fundraising campaign, with the aim of raising enough money to install a second defibrillator in the town by this time next year. We will be holding lots of events over the coming months to help with this, and I hope that local people will lend their support for the benefit of the whole town.”

The charity FLEET (Front Line Emergency Equipment Trust) was set up in 1990 to help make life-saving medical equipment available to communities across Cornwall and support the work of the county’s emergency services.

FLEET’s current fundraising project is ensuring every community in the Duchy has a Public Access Defibrillator, and is in the process of deploying 30 across the county. 

Norman Trebilcock from FLEET said: “When a person suffers a cardiac arrest or heart attack the only effective treatment is defibrillation. Currently only 5 in 100 people survive a cardiac arrest.  Where defibrillation occurs within 3 minutes, this can increase to 70 in 100 people.

FLEET is determined to overcome the geographical challenges that are present in Cornwall and further improve the likelihood that early defibrillation can occur. 

“FLEET had 22 runners in this year’s 2014 Virgin London Marathon, and each runner aimed to raise £3000 to purchase a Public Access Defibrillator for their town or village. Del Harlow, a local paramedic from St Austell, worked hard to raise money to add to his defibrillator fund, which has funded the new defibrillator in White River Place.”

FLEET’s long term goal is to have six or seven Public Access Defibrillators installed in the St Austell area, with each covering a 400 metre radius – meaning someone could get to the PAD and back to the victim within 10 minutes. The charity will also look at placing defibrillators in outlying villages such as Trewoon, Sticker and Polgooth.

For more information about FLEET’s current projects and fundraising, visit

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