Public Access Defibrillators or PADs, is the system of having a defibrillator in a public place.
This entails having a cabinet which contains a defibrillator in a high profile place, such as a leisure centre, village hall or shop, where trained staff, or any member of the public could access the defibrillator and provide the life saving ‘shock’ needed when a patient goes into cardiac arrest.
The equipment is so simple to use that any member of the public could use it should a trained member of staff not be available. Ambulance call takers, the people you speak to if you have to dial 999, are aware of the placements of PAD sites and would be able to talk you through the use of the equipment should it be necessary.
It is hoped that defibrillators will become commonplace and as familiar as fire extinguishers in every public place.
As well providing volunteers to attend emergency calls, Community First Responder schemes such as BEAT, can set up PAD sites within their communities. PAD sites can cost between £1200 and £3000 to set up, depending on the type of installation that is required. Staff or users of the site where a PAD is located receive training from the ambulance service, supported by BEAT members.
BEAT has set up and/or maintains 22 PAD sites.