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A local company is helping the region’s top zoos save lives.

SSG Training & Consultancy, which offers health, safety, environmental and HR training and consultancy services, has sponsored defibrillators for Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall.

SSG, based in Plymouth, has teamed up with the charity zoos to install the machines. Between them, the three sites welcome around 770,000 visitors each year.

Jenny Paton, from Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, said: “SSG provide first aid training, so this is not only a generous but a also highly appropriate thing for them to do – we are very grateful. These machines can save lives. The quick use of a defibrillator on a casualty in cardiac arrest significantly improves their chances of survival.”

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high-energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest. This shock is called defibrillation, and it's an essential life-saving step in the chain of survival.

Mark Salmon, Managing Director of SSG and also a trustee of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, the charity that runs the three zoos, commented: “SSG are delighted to be able to fund the provision of these important life saving devices for each of the zoos. Every 7 minutes someone suffers a heart attack in the UK and, whilst we hope this equipment will never be needed, the zoos are now in a better position to help improve the chances of survival should a need arise.”

All first aiders at the three sites are being trained to use the machines and more staff will be given training on the devices in due course.

At Paignton Zoo the equipment can be found on the outside of the first aid room near the Great Grillers food outlet; at Newquay Zoo it is at reception; and at Living Coasts it is near the Admin Office. For more information on SSG: www.ssg.co.uk 

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