Ballymena’s BID to Save Lives

Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID) has become the first BID in Northern Ireland to purchase a range of potentially lifesaving defibrillators that has been placed in various locations throughout the town centre, in the event of a cardiac arrest emergency.

As well as being the first ever BID to be launched in Northern Ireland, Ballymena has been keen to set high standards from the outset with the implementation of a range of initiatives to support businesses within the BID area. The purchase of the defibrillators could be seen as one of the most important steps so far for BID members, as well as visitors to the town.

Purchased by the Ballymena BID subgroup, the Safer Cleaner Accessible Group, the defibrillator devices have the ability to increase the chances of survival for someone who has suffered from a cardiac arrest.

William Alexander, Director of Ballymena BID and Chair of the Safer Cleaner Accessible subgroup said, “The committee wanted to improve the safety of the public in Ballymena by purchasing a number of defibrillators and locating them throughout the town centre, so as they will be readily available to the Town Centre Warden and Police Officers.

“The devices can also be used by any member of the public as well. Once the defibrillator unit is opened, a voice guides you through what exactly to do.”

The defibrillators are a welcome addition to Ballymena and have been located within the following premises: Wallace’s on Church Street/Wellington Street, Camerons on Broughshane Street and The Front Page Bar on Ballymoney Street. All premises will display the defibrillator signs on the front of their premises so they can be easily seen by the public.

Ballymena BID Manager, Alison Moore stated; “This is an excellent initiative and has the potential to save the life of someone having a cardiac arrest. The Ballymena BID Safer Cleaner and Accessible Committee is continually trying to make Ballymena Town Centre as safe as possible for the public and the purchase of this equipment is a fantastic example of practical steps that can be taken to improve safety.”

Each year, approximately 30,000 Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests occur and for every minute without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of survival are reduced by 7-10%. However, if a defibrillator is used and effective CPR is performed within three to five minutes of the cardiac arrest, survival chances increase from 6% to 74%.

The device provides a high energy electric shock called defibrillation to the heart through the chest wall and is an essentially lifesaving step in the chain of survival.