Defibrillators will be installed outside nine Spar stores in the Portadown area in a new campaign by franchise owners, the Henderson Group.
The campaign, which has received full support from Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride, will see a total of 300 devices installed in Spar and Eurospar outlets across Northern Ireland.
The local Spar stores taking part are at Loughgall Rd; Wright’s Service Station, Dungannon Rd; Bridge Filling Station; Armagh Road; Derrycoose Rd; Annaghmore; Churchill Park; Annaghmore; and Mill St, Tandragee.
Each outlet will carry out its own community and instore fundraising to cover the £1,500 cost of the automated external defibrillator (AED), its temperature controlled cabinet and installation.
Around 1,400 cardiac arrests occur each year in Northern Ireland outside of hospitals, and the aim is that bystanders will make use of an AED device if it is readily available.
Henderson Group’s Bronagh Luke, who has pioneered the campaign with her colleagues, said the initiative is essential for every community to get involved in.
“We hope that every local community will get behind their store’s fundraising campaign and ensure more life-saving devices are on hand, and we encourage retailers and communities to educate themselves with lifesaving practices should an unfortunate incident occur in their area,” she said.
“We will have an education campaign running alongside the fundraising campaigns both digitally via specially produced ‘how to use’ videos, and with printed, practical information readily available in store. We know it is not enough to only have the devices in situ, education on community resuscitation and defibrillator usage is a priority.”