Whanganui now has more life saving defibrillators than ever before including three with 24/7 access in Castlecliff - a suburb which previously had none.

Now the public are being encouraged to get familiar with where they are located in the event of an emergency.

Defibrillators - or Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) - can be used by people to treat someone undergoing cardiac arrest.

Gareth Jenkin set up aedlocations.co.nz which maps the country's AEDs, including more than 50 in Whanganui.

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"I suppose from my point of view the important thing about the map is that it's a living document," Jenkin told the Chronicle.

Any person or organisation with an AED can log it on the website for it to be approved to go on the map.

"I've added probably 70 since Christmas," Jenkin said.

"I'd really encourage people to download the app, just because it's a living document, and obviously people have their phone with them most of the time."

Jenkin started the website as a public good and said the database was a community collaboration.

Quick access was vital when someone was undergoing cardiac arrest as there was a 90-95 per cent survival rate in the first minute and knowing where AEDs were would "just lead to better outcomes", Jenkin said.

"For every minute that goes past survival drops by 10 to 15 per cent."

A map of the current defibrillator locations in Whanganui. Image / Bevan Conley / aedlocations.co.nz
A map of the current defibrillator locations in Whanganui. Image / Bevan Conley / aedlocations.co.nz

Meanwhile, this time last year Castlecliff had no 24/7 access to an AED but it now has three spread from the north to the south of the suburb.

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James Barron, who organised a fundraising effort on behalf of Progress Castlecliff, said he noted the problem when looking at the AED locations website and saw there was none in area apart from at Mars and Downer at the edge of Castlecliff.

"But nothing which really had public access, and certainly not 24/7," he said.

So he successfully applied to Heart Saver for an AED to be placed in The Citadel on Rangiora St but realised it would be better with 24/7 access.

"People have heart attacks 24/7, not just when The Citadel's open," he said.

That led to a crowd funding campaign to get 24/7 boxes for the defibrillators at The Citadel and there was enough money to get one for Aranui School's AED.

James Barron helped lead the charge to get 24/7 access defibrillators in Whanganui. Photo/castlecliff.nz
James Barron helped lead the charge to get 24/7 access defibrillators in Whanganui. Photo/castlecliff.nz

Whanganui District councillor and Cliff Dental owner Hadleigh Reid then helped put one at the clinic to cover the southern end of the district.

Barron said about 40 different sponsors pitched in to help the get the defibrillators in Castlecliff.

"That original donation of a defibrillator has now turned into three that are available 24/7 which is pretty good," he said.

"It's a big suburb, we've got a high population with low decile issues and we were enough of a distance from the ambulance and hospital to be outside that magic four to eight minute window."

AEDs in 24/7 boxes are located where they can be accessed at all times. People can get the access code by calling 111.