Twenty One defibrillators are due to be installed at Essex Recycling Centres.
With an annual footfall of 2.5 million visitors, the recycling centres operated by Veolia will soon be set up to save lives.
Councillor Simon Walsh, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste at Essex County Council said: “A heart attack can take place at any time, in any location. We think the installation of these defibrillators is important because recycling centres can often see an environment of people overexerting themselves with heavy lifting, which has the potential to be dangerous, particularly in times of high temperatures like those of recent weeks.”
The total cost of almost £18000 to install the defibrillators was met with support from Essex County Council, Veolia, and the GMB – the major Union representing many of the recycling centres’ staff. Each of the three bodies have contributed a third of the cost, in what Cllr Walsh describes as a “true working partnership”.
Veolia is the global leader in optimised waste management. Through designing and providing water, waste and energy management solutions, the group is committed to protecting the environment and improving the lives of the communities in which it operates.
Craig Elgeton, a representative of Veolia said: “We, GMB and Essex County Council were more than happy to split the cost for the defibrillators three ways. Our recycling centres are a focal point for many communities, and we see this project as a way of giving something back to them.”
The defibrillators can be used by members of the general public without training, but as an added precaution the St John Ambulance will be providing formal training to the recycling centres’ staff.
Dave Powell, a representative of GMB said: “Of course we hope that the defibrillators will never have to be used, but they will prove themselves to be priceless if an accident were to happen on site.”
The recycling centres are located in Braintree, Brentwood, Burnham-on-Crouch, Canvey, Chelmsford, Chigwell, Clacton, Colchester, Dovercourt, Harlow, Kirby le Soken, Maldon, Moutnessing, Pitsea, Rayleigh, Saffron Walden, South Woodham Ferrers, Waltham Abbey, West Mersea and Witham.
by Ashley Rosewell