Morrisons has won a St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes award for installing life-saving defibrillators in all of its stores.
The £500,000 initiative funded by the retailer’s charitable arm, Morrisons Foundation, has saved at least five lives since it began a year ago.
First aid charity St John Ambulance named the supermarket winner of the Workplace Heroes category in its annual awards, which celebrate those who stepped forward when it mattered most to help people with first aid, to support communities and have a positive impact on health.
Defibrillators, also known as AEDs, can dramatically improve the chances of a patient surviving a cardiac arrest when combined with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
As part of the initiative, Morrisons also arranged for more than 2,300 employees to attend sessions on how to use defibrillators and give CPR run by St John Ambulance volunteers.
Gary Mills, group retail director of Morrisons, said: “We hope it’s reassuring for customers, colleagues and the local community to know that we have defibrillators in Morrisons. We have staff trained in first aid and CPR but a defibrillator boosts a person’s chances of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest so we’re pleased to have them in our stores.”
Mark Farmer, director of first aid services, St John Ambulance said: “Our Everyday Heroes awards recognise those who give and champion give first aid to make a real difference. This huge undertaking by Morrisons to keep people safe has already reaped the rewards of lives saved and is a most deserving winner of our Workplace Hero award.
“Up to seven out of 10 people who suffer a cardiac arrest could survive if they are treated with a defibrillator within the first five minutes. We know from our research that members of the public would like to see more of these vital devices in their neighbourhood, so we encourage other businesses to install defibrillators as a matter of urgency.” Defibrillators have been used to save patients suffering cardiac arrests in the following stores: Teignmouth (Devon) Melton Mowbray (Leics), Stone (Staffs), Blackburn (Lancs) and Louth (Lincs) so they have very real use.
To learn more about defibrillators, how to give CPR and the Everyday Heroes awards please go to www.sja.org.uk