Ffestiniog Railway launches new defibrillators in guards vans

Ffestiniog Railway Defibrillators

The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway recently hosted their launch event for defibrillators at Porthmadog Harbour station and onboard their trains.

This now means that nine defibrillators are present along the railway. Passengers, staff and the local community will never be far from a defibrillator should the situation arise that one is necessary to use.

This is a massive boost to the communities in Gwynedd.

Credit: Festrail

The funding for the defibrillator at Blaenau Ffestiniog station was found by the family of a patient that suffered a heart attack at the station several years ago.

The medical event was attended by the local ambulance crew and off duty staff from the London Ambulance Service.

This has led to a further donation, which enables the installation of defibrillators at the Railway’s other principal stations at Caernarfon and Porthmadog along with the workshops at Boston Lodge.

The FfWHR has identified an opportunity to further increase its first aid capabilities by placing defibrillators on the five main carriage sets.

Due to the support of the two supporting societies, the Ffestiniog Railway Society and Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri, defibrillators have been installed in each guard’s van, further increasing the first aid capabilities.

On the opening week of the railway for the 2020 season, Tomos Hughes BEM, who leads the project for the Wales Ambulance service across Gwynedd and North Wales, provided walkthrough demonstrations of the defibrillator machines during the afternoon. These machines provide users with fully automated vocal instructions to make their implementation simple to understand in case of emergency use by an untrained individual.

Credit: Festrail

Tomos runs a local charity which aims to install defibrillators throughout the area, known as Achub Calon y Dyffryn (Saving the Heart of the Valley) which work in partnership with SADS UK and Keep the Beats charities.

Ffestiniog Railway Society Chairman; Howard Wilson and Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri Director Alun Tomlinson were both present at the launch to signify the generous donations of both societies, which funded the installation of defibrillators.

The FfWHR Safety Manager, Nick Griffiths, and first aid volunteers and trainers, Tony Peake and Ian Dawson also attended the launch, discussing the crucial role they play in keeping the Railway safe for passenger and the local communities.

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