A HOUSING association has invested in lifesaving equipment at its offices.

Magna Housing has spent more than £5,000 on providing defibrillator in each of its five main offices, one of which is in Boldwood House in West Allington, Bridport.

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest.

It delivers an appropriate electric shock when someone is having a heart attack and is designed to be used by anyone, including members of the public, without the need for training.

Steve Fowlie, health and safety manager at Magna, said: “We have provided a defibrillator in each of our main offices so that if any of our staff or visitors were to have a heart attack, we could help.

“Our first aiders and other members of staff have received training from St John’s Ambulance, or from me, to ensure we have people who are confident to use them in an emergency. However, the defibrillator does provide step-by-step instructions for anyone to follow if they need to.

“It also provides real-time CPR feedback on the depth and rate of chest compressions to help the user carry out CPR correctly. Many people are often afraid of doing this in case they get it wrong, but with this unit you simply follow the spoken instructions.

“Of course, we hope that we’ll never need them, but I’m very pleased we have invested in this life saving equipment."

Chris Allen, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: “When someone collapses with a cardiac arrest, every second is vital. Performing CPR and using a defibrillator can help double a person’s chance of survival.

"That’s why we need as many people as possible trained in CPR, and for life saving defibrillators to be available and easily accessible at any time, day or night. These interventions really are the difference between life and death.”