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29th October 2015 - Press Release

Port takes top prize in national heart awards

The Port of Dover has won national recognition for the way it equips and trains staff to deal with cardiac arrest casualties.

Of its 300 employees, the port has schooled 109 in the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques (mouth to mouth and chest compressions).

It has also invested more than £9,000 installing seven AEDs - hi-tech pieces of kit which can shock a heart back into a regular rhythm - at terminals, in police vehicles, at the marina and in one of its patrol boats.

Now its work has gained national plaudits at the UK Heart Safe Awards 2015, with the Port of Dover taking top slot in the Large Business of the Year category.

A spokeswoman for the organisers said: “Judges were impressed by the standard of responsible practice and tight structure for what is an extremely busy site.  The port has a very structured and proactive approach to responsibility and team engagement. It was acknowledged how much this business has really engaged with Heart Safe to improve its application this year.”

Port safety officers say the training and equipment - which is logged as an asset by the South East Coast Ambulance Service - has already led to lives being saved. Port police were dispatched to an incident in Dover town to support paramedics. A trained off-duty member of port staff used an AED at a running event when a competitor collapsed with cardiac arrest. And another of the port’s workforce used their CPR skills to help an unconscious, non-breathing casualty at a martial arts dojo.

Andy Stephens, port safety officer, said: “The earlier a casualty with sudden cardiac arrest gets treatment, the greater their chance of survival. The port handles 13 million passengers a year and we’ve placed our AEDs in strategic locations to ensure the best coverage.

“A third of our staff have already had training, and the fantastic national recognition we got at the

UK Heart Safe Awards is testament to their enthusiasm and dedication.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The port handles 13 million passengers, 2.5 million freight vehicles and £100 billion of UK/European trade.

The port supports 22,000 jobs, many of which are in the local community.

It has a shared vision to protect and enhance short and long term port capacity for the nation while delivering the catalyst for the regeneration of Dover.

The Port of Dover and Channel Tunnel are the gateway to Europe from the UK; in 2014 almost 2.4 million cars and over 2.4 million freight vehicles passed through the Port of Dover and almost 2.6 million cars and over 1.4 million freight vehicles passed through the Channel Tunnel, giving a combined total of almost 4 million freight vehicles making this journey per annum. 

 

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