PUBLIC access defibrillators in Farnham, Surrey, have been marked with SelectaDNA to protect them from theft.
The seven defibrillators, which are positioned around the town and are available for use should someone have a cardiac arrest in public, were part-funded by local charity Farnham Lions.
Professor Tom Quinn, volunteer Clinical Director of ‘Heartstart’ Farnham Lions (which teaches emergency life support skills to local residents) made contact with Selectamark following a recommendation from Surrey Police that forensic marking product SelectaDNA was an ideal way to protect the defibrillators.
Selectamark Managing Director James Brown suffered the loss of his wife some 10 years ago to a cardiac arrest following a 10km road race in central London. As a result he became involved in heart charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, and became aware of the importance of defibrillators.
When James heard of the project in Farnham, he agreed to introduce the marking system and deterrent warning signs, to reduce the likelihood that the defibrillators are stolen from their visually prominent positions.
The defibrillators now have their own unique DNA marking registered on the SelectaDNA database, which in turn will enable the Police to identify where they have come from in the event that they are stolen and recovered. The deterrent warning signage is, in itself, a proven deterrent against theft.
Professor Quinn said: “I am delighted that we have been able to draw on James's expert advice, as recommended by Surrey Police, to safeguard our community's defibrillators and ensure they are truly 'public access'.
“Every second counts when a person has a cardiac arrest, and we want any member of the community to be able to access the equipment in an emergency, in the same way they would a fire extinguisher.
“Having our equipment DNA marked by SelectaDNA means we don't have to rely on locked cabinets, which can cause unnecessary delay.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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