A care home company in Chester and Ellesmere Port has teamed up with the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) for a life-saving initiative.

The organisation has joined  forces with CLS care homes to ensure local people have a better chance of getting prompt access to life-saving equipment in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.

The homes in Blacon, Great  Sutton and Upton are amongst 26 CLS care home sites, which have been equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs): machines that give the heart an electric shock to attempt to restore a normal heartbeat.

As well as installing the AEDs, NWAS has provided training to the CLS care teams in  basic life support and how to use the equipment.

The teams will work on standby ensuring that in the  event of a sudden cardiac arrest, they can get to a patient within four minutes and potentially save a life.

Robert Sharples, community support officer for the  North West Ambulance Service, said: “In the event of a heart attack, speed is of the  essence, and this is part of a  wider project to get more defibrillators into the community so that lives can be  saved.

“The ambulance service will  always be the first port of call, however, we recognise that  having the back-up of other trained care professionals can  literally mean the difference  between life and death.”

Phil Orton, head of people at CLS Homes, confirmed: “We welcomed the opportunity to  get involved in such an important project, which not  only bolsters the resources  available to our own residents, but allows us to help serve the  local community.”

The scheme to get 3,000 additional defibrillators into the community is designed to ensure no one is ever more than four minutes away from this vital equipment.

It is being run by the Department of Health, The British Heart Foundation and The  Big Lottery Fund.