Firefighters to treat victims of cardiac arrests

Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell handing defibrillators over to Watch Commander Jamie Humphrey.
Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell handing defibrillators over to Watch Commander Jamie Humphrey.
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Firefighters will now respond to medical emergencies in a bid to save more lives while on duty.

From this week, 20 fire engines across Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire will carry brand new equipment to help someone suffering from a cardiac arrest.

Chief fire officer Jason Thelwell said: “Against the backdrop of a 10-year decline in the number of emergency incidents firefighters are being called to, we are continuing to find ways to help our local communities and save lives.

“We already do this by preventing and responding to fires and road traffic collisions, and by responding to medical emergencies from some of our fire stations.

“The defibrillators are further evidence that we will always put the needs of the community first.”

Automatic external defibrillators can deliver an electrical current through the chest which aims to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm, allowing it to pump again.

After a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by 10 per cent.

One fire engine in each of the 15 fire stations in Buckinghamshire and the five in Milton Keynes now carries a defibrillator which can be used at an incident, at public events, during training or at the fire station.