MOURNERS at Wyre Forest Crematorium will have access to a life-saving defibrillator in case of emergencies.

Staff at the crematorium in Minster Road have been trained to use the equipment, which has been funded by the facility's operator, Dignity, with help from its charity partner, the British Heart Foundation.

Crematorium manager Joy Edgington said: "Every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around 10 per cent.

"We will always call an ambulance but wanted to do everything we possibly can to provide immediate help.

"Our partnership with British Heart Foundation has enabled us to purchase a defibrillator to be located at the crematorium for use during an emergency.”

In addition to installing the defibrillator, Dignity has raised more than £450,000 for the British Heart Foundation by hosting events in their funeral premises, offices and crematoria throughout the UK.

Donna Stokes, from the charity, said: "We thank Dignity for their commitment to the community and the money they have raised to fund life-saving research that helps keep more families together.

"Defibrillators need to be available in areas of greatest risk – such as where crowds gather, a location where people are naturally anxious or under stress or possibly somewhere that an ambulance may take time to reach due to traffic congestion or distance from a hospital – so a crematorium meets all of these requirements.”

Dignity is now looking at adding defibrillators to the outside of its funeral premises and offices in areas where the equipment is not available.