More than 50 lifesaving pieces of equipment have been placed in communities across the county by a store chain thanks to funds raised by the 5p carrier bag levy.
Central England Co-operative has installed defibrillators in 51 of its Derbyshire food stores and funeral homes in the last 12 months, including Wirksworth, Bakewell, Ripley, Belper, Somercotes, Ilkeston and Chesterfield.
Chief executive Martyn Cheatle said: “Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the UK’s biggest killers and, after listening to the concerns of customers, members and partners, we wanted to help tackle the issue by getting more life-saving equipment into communities where it can save lives.
“As a responsible business we place a huge focus on making a positive contribution to the communities in which we trade - we are delighted to have been able to build on our existing work with this project which we funded from the 5p carrier bag levy.
“The response to the project by our colleagues, customers and members has been amazing and we have been taken aback by the positive response from the communities in which we serve.”
It is estimated that around 100,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in the UK each year and, while CPR saves the lives of around nine per cent, if CPR is used alongside a defibrillator the chance of survival increases to 50 per cent.
Central England Co-op worked closely with ambulance services to find the best locations for the devices and, where possible, fitted them to buildings externally so the community could use them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
After every device was installed by Oak Electrical, familiarisation sessions took place for staff at outlets, nearby businesses, residents and community groups to help people find out more about the device.