Life-saving defibrillators fitted to Lichfield fire engines

Fire engines in Lichfield have been fitted with defibrillators in a move to improve safety of firefighters.

Around 80 firefighters across Staffordshire Fire and Rescue service have been trained by West Midlands Ambulance service to use the new devices which can restart the heart by giving an electric shock.

Bob Russell, Director of Safer Communities for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, said:

“The safety of our crews is paramount and obviously they do work in highly stressful situations and extreme conditions. Although an occasion in which a firefighter collapses is rare, we feel that having this life saving equipment to hand is necessary, and if it saves the life of just one of our firefighters then it has been funding well spent.

“These defibrillators have been fitted for use on our own staff however if the crews did attend an incident in which it was necessary to use this equipment on a member of the public then obviously they would do so.”

The defibrillators have been fitted on all 54 of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s front line vehicles, with 50 per cent of the funding for the devices provided by The Cardiac Science Corporation.

Andy Relf, business corporation manager at the Cardiac Science Corporation, said:

“Early intervention is essential in addressing a sudden cardiac arrest. Defibrillators need to become as common as fire extinguishers in all public places and work environments – this is a great step forward.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service’s community response manager Duncan Parsonage added:

“We’re pleased that Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has taken the decision to fit these defibrillators and utilise our expertise for the training. We also did the same training for Firefighters in West Midlands Fire Service, they had their defibrillators fitted a year ago now and I know that they have already been put to use on a Firefighter who collapsed at an incident.”

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