Train operator hopes to save Dorset lives by installing station defibrillators
PUBLICLY accessible defibrillators will be installed in train stations across Dorset thanks to a half a million pound investment.
South Western Railway (SWR) is to install publicly accessible automated external defibrillators at all 154 of the staffed stations on its network.
The train operator, which is one of the largest in the country with stations Hampshire and Dorset, is investing more than £500,000 in the project as part of its commitment to safety.
The defibrillators will be placed in protective cabinets as close as possible to the front entrance of the stations, to be used day or night in the event of cardiac incidents at or near stations.
Rollout of the machines across 154 stations, which begins this month, is expected to be competed in the summer.
SWR has partnered with the Alex Wardle Foundation to help raise awareness of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS), when someone dies suddenly and unexpectedly from a cardiac arrest.
The charity was set up in memory of Alex Wardle, a medical student and son of an SWR operations trainer, who died from SADS in March 2016.
Claire Mann, managing director of SWR, said: "Sudden arrhythmic death syndrome and other heart conditions can impact us all.
"As part of SWR's commitment to the local communities we serve, I'm so pleased that we are installing defibrillators at every single one of our staffed stations, which could very well prove to be lifesaving."