KIDDERMINSTER Carolians Rugby Club has invested in new life saving equipment after being awarded a grant from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

The club gave the BHF £400 and in return the foundation provided a state-of-the-art Intelligent Public Access Defibrillator (iPAD) for use in and around its Marlpool Lane clubhouse.

The defibrillator is designed so that it can be used by minimally trained people, using a series of voice prompts and visual instructions to guide a rescuer through what to do step-by-step until medical help arrives.

It can also be simply switched to select adult or child mode, saving seconds that are wasted changing settings in an emergency situation.

Rob Edwards, the club’s first aid co-ordinator, said: “We take the safety of our players and supporters very seriously and we will make sure we have all the right people trained in case of an incident.

“The club is used every day of the week with hundreds of people here on game days.

“We hope we never have to use it and it sits on the shelf for a long time, but if someone does happen to have a heart attack and an incident does occur then we will be prepared for it.”

Members of the club will now take part in various training days at the clubhouse, learning how to use the new piece of kit, under the tutelage of Dave Rowley from the West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Mr Edwards said: “There are already a number of us at the club who have had the training required to use the defibrillator, but we now want as many of the members of the club to be able to use it.”

The next two sessions the club are holding are taking place at the clubhouse on October 14 and 16 from 6.30pm and will see 24 members receive tuition.

According to the British Heart Foundation there are about 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year and they are especially common during physical contact sports such as rugby.

The foundation said that for every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, it reduces their chances of survival by ten per cent.