Press Releases

Life saving measures for National Museum Wales sites

Life-saving defibrillators have been installed at all seven of Wales’ National Museums to safeguard both the staff and the 1.6 million people (on average) who visit each year. The defibrillators have been placed at all museums and staff at each museum have been trained on how to use the lifesaving equipment.

Following on from the installation of a defibrillator at Big Pit National Coal Museum in 2011, the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust has extended the Public Access Defibrillation Scheme (PADS) and installed new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on each site available for use by members of the public and staff in the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

Paul Green, Senior Deputy at Big Pit added: “Safety is a primary concern for us, we welcome visitors every day and having the defibrillator underground at Big Pit gives staff and visitors that extra peace of mind.

“In 2011 the Big Pit was the first place in the UK’s to house a defibrillator underground in a coalmine, and we are proud to have worked with the Welsh Ambulance Service to extend this process to safeguard all those who visit our seven sites each year.”

Mr Rothwell of the Welsh Ambulance Service explained: “We have currently trained over 4,000 volunteers to use PADS at over 250 locations across Wales, including at airports, shopping centres, railway stations, leisure centres and even on the top of Snowdon.

“We are always looking to put these on very popularly used places like the seven sites of National Museums Wales. I am proud to say that staff here have worked hard through training and they will be ready to help someone in need.

“In the same way life belts are around public swimming areas, easily accessible PADS allow staff at the museum to utilise their defibrillator to help people if they are facing a cardiac arrest.”

Each Museum staff volunteer undertook four hours training to allow them to use the electric shock lifesaving machine and to administer basic life support skills.

Entry to the Museum is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government. 

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales operates seven museums across Wales: National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Drefach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.  

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Notes to Editors

1.    A Public Access Defibrillation Scheme (PADS) is any location that has an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) available for use by members of the public and/or staff in the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

2.    AED is a portable device of the size of a bag that operates on battery and analyses the heart rhythm and if necessary can deliver an electrical shock or defibrillation to a casualty in a cardiac arrest.

3.    A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating effectively and normal breathing ceases. This results in the casualty becoming unresponsive and urgent intervention is required. The chances of survival are greatly increased when an AED is applied.