TRADERS in a Barry shopping district could prove lifesavers thanks to a Barry Rotary Club donation that could see them respond in a beat.

The charity organisation last week handed over a defibrillator unit to the town’s High Street after some of its traders successfully completed a course into their use.

Club members decided to kit out the popular retail area and two Holton Road and Barry Island pubs, with the machine following a talk given by Vale community first responder, Bryan Foley.

Brian said: “Sudden cardiac arrest requires immediate treatment with a defibrillator. The electric shock can restore a normal rhythm to a heart that's stopped beating. Every minute is critical, so having locally available units instead of waiting for an ambulance can be the difference between life and death.”

Sharon George, of MJM Computers, in High Street, was one of the traders trained in their use.

She said: “It was quite nerve-wracking, but Bryan was really good.

“It took about two-and-a-half hours and it gives somebody the chance of surviving after a heart attack so people will feel safe and relaxed when they are shopping in High Street.”

The four units, provided in conjunction with Welsh Hearts, are being placed around town in places that are convenient for access, and someone dialing 999 would be immediately directed to the nearest place having one.

The first defibrillator was handed over to Steve Case, owner of Habana, on High Street, which is open every day and evening and where staff and local traders have been given awareness training.

The units talk when opened, giving instructions for their use, and can be used by anyone.

Steve said: “We are very happy to be able to support the community by making the unit available for need in the High Street area.”

Other units will go to Finnegan’s on Barry Island and the Buck on Holton Road with the location of the fourth unit being discussed.

Rotary Club president Peter Battle said “The vital role that these units can play in preventing unnecessary death is widely recognised and we at Barry Rotary felt it very important to see they are provided in town in easily accessible places. I would like to thank Steve for so readily agreeing to have the first one at Habana where it can be available to anyone near Barry High Street.”