Town Centres With Heart

DFIB montage

Local businesses trained in life-saving skills

Town centres in Dover, Deal and Sandwich are even safer following a unique initiative to train staff from local businesses how to use a defibrillator.

A defibrillator gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. So-called defibs, AED (Automated External Defibrillator) or PAD (Public Access Defibrillator) are becoming common in public places.

One hundred people from 34 local businesses and community groups took part in one of twelve, hour-long training sessions organised by Dover District Council in partnership with St John Ambulance and funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Cllr Kevin Mills, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “As well as learning potentially life-saving skills, this was a great example of how we’re bringing local businesses together to network and improve the town centre experience generally.”

Dover District Council is now working to ensure that every defibrillator in the district is registered with ‘The Circuit’ the National Defibrillator Network maintained by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), and looking at potential new locations for defibrillators to extend coverage. 

Lee Goodman, acting Unit Manager of Dover St John Ambulance, led the training sessions. He said: "Our team of volunteers at St John Ambulance in Dover are incredibly passionate and proud to have the opportunity to work with Dover District Council to share life-saving skills such as CPR and defibrillator training with local businesses.”

Notes to editors:

To find out more about volunteering with St John Ambulance see  Volunteer Opportunities - First Aid Charity | St John Ambulance (

St John Ambulance's values can be summarized by the acronym, HEART:

  • Humanity: treating others with compassion and respect
  • Excellence: taking pride in an excellent job
  • Accountability: delivering what we promise
  • Responsiveness: constantly learning and improving
  • Teamwork: working together effectively.
Posted on 26 July 2023

For media enquiries, Email: