Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

The Emergency Planning section of the Safety, Security and Home Affairs Portfolio recently received funding to launch a Community Automated External Defibrillator (AED) project. The project has seen AED’s deployed at a number of key locations around the Island, with more due to be deployed in the coming months.

The funding for this work has been provided by Disaster Management UK, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Airlink, The Royal St Helena Police Service and the Health and Social Care Portfolio.

What is an AED, and when and how are they used?

Defibrillators are devices that send a safe electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat when someone is not conscious and not breathing (i.e. they are in cardiac arrest).

A defibrillator may also be referred to as a DEFIB, an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) or a PAD (Public Access Defibrillator). Statistics show that if a defibrillator is used on a patient within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, they have a 60-70% chance of making a full recovery. 

The type of AEDs being deployed are designed so that they can be used by anyone, without specialist training. Once turned on they will instruct the user through voice commands on exactly how to use the device safely, for both the patient and the operator.

These particular AEDs will only deliver a lifesaving shock to the patient if it is needed. They can tell if this is the case and will talk the user through what to do, meaning people can use the AEDs with confidence in an emergency situation.

The AEDs will be clearly signposted and will be contained in a bright yellow box which looks similar to the below image.

If you require access to an AED, the code to the cabinet can be requested from the Emergency Control Centre when dialling 999.

Where will they be located?

AEDs have now been placed in the following locations:

Half Tree HollowHalf Tree Hollow Clinic: Outside of main entrance
Francis PlainThe Pavilion Area: In the Green Shed
Level woodSilver Hill Shop
Blue HillBlue Hill Community Centre
Sandy BayBamboo Hedge Shop
Rupert’sSea Rescue Building: Outside the main entrance

Pending planning permission approval, in the near future AEDs will also be placed on Customs building in Jamestown and the Royal St Helena post at Longwood.

There are also other AEDs located in Jamestown at the Police HQ reception and at HM Prison.

A short instructional video on what AEDs are, when and how to use them, and where they are located around the Island, will be played on the Sure Promo Channel, and can be found online at

22 February 2023

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470