Does your community need a public access defibrillator? - Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
The first six months of 2024
July 3, 2024
Claire’s Story
July 19, 2024
The first six months of 2024
July 3, 2024
Claire’s Story
July 19, 2024

Does your community need a public access defibrillator?

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) is excited to announce that Bristol City Council (BCC) has awarded us funding for 52 new defibrillators. Along with a further £17,000 raised by the Sam Polledri Foundation, GWAAC is looking to place 62 lifesaving public access defibrillators in Bristol. Now we need your help to find the best locations for these defibs!

We have created a simple three-step process for you to follow (outlined below) to check if you have a defibrillator near you and if not, to register your interest in getting one installed. By taking this simple action today, you could save a life in the future.


Why you need a public access defibrillator nearby

GWAAC saves lives across Bristol and beyond and its specialist crew are called to around 500 cardiac arrest patients a year – a quarter of the charity’s total missions. Yet, despite the extraordinary skills of our crew, their speedy arrival to the scene, and the equipment they bring, they are the first to say that the precious minutes before they arrive are critical.

Bystander CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation before an ambulance arrives can increase cardiac arrest survival rates from less than 10 percent to more than 70 percent. Every one-minute delay where no one does anything to help reduces someone’s survival chances by another 10 percent. To avoid needless deaths GWAAC’s goal is that anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest will receive immediate CPR and then defibrillation within five minutes – ideally even sooner.

Tragically, Sam Polledri, a fit and healthy 24-year-old, wasn’t one of the fortunate ones. On 26 February 2022 on a night out with friends, he suffered a cardiac arrest in Millennium Square. Despite being surrounded by five defibrillators, none were publicly accessible, and he didn’t survive.


GWAAC is asking the people of Bristol to follow a simple three-step process

Step 1:  Find your nearest defibrillator

  • Enter your postcodes (where you work, rest and play) into Defib Finder. It will show the locations of your ten nearest defibs
  • Use the filter options to select '24/7' and 'Public' only, and tick the Available Now box
  • Click on the top or closest defibrillator shown. It will give directions, distance and walking time. If it is further than a five-minute round trip, go to Step 2, below.


Step 2: Decide where you want a defibrillator and check the criteria

Remember, choose somewhere within a five-minute round trip from your postcode. Then check if your chosen location is in the list below (BCC has provided funding for new defibrillators in these wards). If the location is not listed below, we also have funding from the Sam Polledri Foundation, so please apply.

  • Ashley
  • Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston
  • Bedminster
  • Brislington East
  • Brislington West
  • Central Bristol
  • Clifton
  • Clifton Down
  • Easton
  • Eastville
  • Frome Vale
  • Hotwells and Harbourside
  • Hillfields
  • Knowle
  • Lawrence Hill
  • Lockleaze
  • St George Central
  • St George Troopers Hill
  • St George West
  • Southville
  • Stoke Bishop
  • Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze
  • Windmill Hill


Step 3: Complete and submit the form below

It should just take five to ten minutes of your time

Expression of interest form


It's a team effort to help Bristol communities live safer lives

On 13 December 2022, Louise Polledri, along with GWAAC’s Critical Care Doctor, Tim Godfrey, and Simon Brookes, a GWAAC volunteer, delivered an impassioned speech to a full council meeting. The 58 councillors unanimously backed a motion for Bristol City Council to commit to improving access to defibrillators.

GWAAC wants to thank BCC for its commitment to funding the defibrillators and the Sam Polledri Foundation for its unwavering support.

The charity has also developed an innovative new mapping tool that will help identify hotspots for the placement of new defibrillators based on areas of deprivation where there is a lack of public access defibrillators and where there are higher proportions of cardiac arrests occurring.

“GWAAC’s unique approach is empowering Bristol communities to live safer lives. We're using data to identify where defibrillators are needed, we offer support with ordering and installation, and we provide guardianship and training initiatives. Together with Bristol City Council and the Sam Polledri Foundation, we're asking for your support to help us get more defibrillators out into communities so that they can save lives.”

Lisa Warrington, Defibrillator Coordinator at GWAAC


About the Sam Polledri Foundation

Winners of Supporter of the Year at the 2023 Air Ambulance UK Awards

Amidst the devastation of losing Sam in such a tragic way, Sam’s family, girlfriend Lisa Mazzotta, and friends chose to do something incredible for the city and beyond as a tribute to him.

Partnering with GWAAC, they set up the Sam Polledri Foundation, raising funds to install public access defibrillators, and teaching people to use them along with CPR. Their actions are already saving lives.

Sam’s mum, Louise Polledri, says: If a defibrillator is inside a building but that building is closed it cannot be accessed in an emergency. And if a defibrillator is not registered this means that when a call is made to 999, the call handler cannot see that there is a defibrillator in the area. Defibrillators must be accessible to the public.

That’s why as well as the the installation of new public-access defibrillators, we’re hoping that the £17,000 funding that we have raised for this project will be used to help people who have existing defibrillators and want a cabinet fitted externally to make them accessible 24/7 with unrestricted access for the community. We’d like to encourage these people to come forward.”



Why get an automated external defibrillator?
How will I know how to use it?
What do I need to do?
What happens next?
When will we find out?
What if I’m not successful?
Why these locations?
We have a fully working and under warranty defibrillator inside that isn’t 24/7, Public and Available Now – how can we get involved?
What is needed in the way of electrical installation?
Guardianship – what does this involve?
Who can I speak to if I have any questions?

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