LIFE-SAVING equipment is now available for people visiting remote nature reserves.

The Sussex Wildlife Trust has two defibrillators on board the vehicles it uses to take volunteers around the county.

The Sussex Heart Charity supplied one of the machines and trained staff how to use it;

The George Bairstow Charitable Trust also gave a grant of more than £650 to buy a second defibrillator.

The trust has hundreds of volunteers and many of them carry out important nature conservation tasks on its reserves.

This includes helping with livestock, bridge building, fencing, scrub clearance and more. This conservation work ensures nature reserves are kept in top condition for visitors as well as improving and maintaining habitat for wildlife.

Trust director of land management David Saunders said: “By their very nature, many of our reserves are in remote locations which often have poor mobile phone reception and cannot be rapidly accessed by the emergency service.

“By taking defibrillators with us on volunteer work parties, we are reducing the risk of death or serious disability as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.”

A spokesman for the George Bairstow charitable trust said: “A defibrillator is a key part of the chain of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest. Every minute saved in accessing one counts.

“Therefore we are very pleased to support this initiative that will provide more machines in remote locations where other medical help may not be readily available.”

Defibrillators are used to kick-start a heart which has gone into cardiac arrest.

They are easy and safe to use as they won’t administer an electric shock unless the heart has stopped.

The Argus’s Save a Life campaign was launched in 2015.

It called on schools, hotels, businesses, clubs and charities to install defibrillators on their premises or in their communities in a bid to improve survival rates for cardiac arrests.

There are up to 1,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Sussex every year and about a fifth of these happen outside the home.

Survival rates are five to ten per cent compared with places like Scandinavia and north America, where the figure more than doubles to 20 per cent or higher.

The aim is to ensure all communities have a defibrillator within easy distance if a person’s heart suddenly stops.