More than 30,000 cardiac arrests occur out of hospital each year with a survival rate of less than 1 in 10, according to the British Heart Foundation. A significant factor in this number, the cardiovascular research charity, claims is that defibrillators are used in just 10 percent of cardiac arrests in public, highlighting the need for more of these machines to be installed in public spaces.
The Alex Wardle Foundation is a charity set up by Steve Wardle, an operations trainer for South Western Railway (SWR), after this son died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) in 2016. SWR has partnered with the foundation to help raise awareness of SADS, especially its occurrence in young and apparently healthy people.
As part of this commitment, SWR decided to install life-saving defibrillators in 154 stations across its extensive network – in South West London, Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, Dorset, Wilshire, Somerset and Devon – for use day or night by the end of summer 2023.
Integral was awarded the contract to install the defibrillators early this year and work began in April. As the chosen contractor for the programme, the company has been involved from the initial communication, design and consent through to delivery and installation. Integral has worked closely with SWR to deliver the project in the most effective way possible for infrastructure and rail passengers, minimising disruption for both the public and the rail company’s operations, while considering the impact on some of the listed sites. Integral’s small works team is responsible for collecting the publicly accessible defibrillators, installing the units as closely as possible to the front entrance of stations in protective cabinets, and connecting them to the power supply.
This current work with SWR forms part of a larger partnership with the rail company. Integral secured the contract to deliver all planned preventative and reactive maintenance, as well as support with project and small works, across more than 200 sites of SWR’s network in April 2023. The agreement is for one year with 1+1 extension terms.
Integral has a dedicated rail team which understands the client’s needs through communication, teamwork and the aim of delivering project excellence. The company is building a strong track record with its rail industry clients, which also include Greater Western Railway and Avanti West Coast, delivering on projects such as waiting room and toilet refurbishments, car park lighting and LED lighting replacements.
Commenting on the SWR partnership, Bradley Scott, projects manager for Integral, said: “We are privileged to work with SWR on a potentially lifesaving scheme. It’s not just about delivering a great service but also doing our part for a great cause and giving back to local communities. The scheme also demonstrates the crucial support Integral can provide using our skills and expertise as well as our growing delivery capability across the UK’s rail networks.”
Learn how to use a defibrillator in the UK here. Together, we can make a difference and help save lives.