Firefighters demonstrate basic lifesaving skills to Saturday shoppers
Fri 29 Jul, 2016
Watch Commander Barrie Ackerlay (pictured above left) and Crew Commander Rhys Price from Aylesbury White Watch, demonstrate how automatic external defibrillators should be used.
Firefighters were on hand in Aylesbury town centre over the weekend, providing safety advice and giving practical demonstrations on basic first aid and life saving techniques.
The crew from Aylesbury White Watch were in Market Square with their fire engine between 9.30am and 3.30pm on Saturday 23 July, providing home safety advice, informing the public about the free home safety check that is offered by the service.
The crew was also keen to demonstrate how simple it can be to help increase the chance of survival for someone suffering a cardiac arrest, using their AED (automatic external defibrillators) - one of 20 now being carried on fire engines across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.
Watch Commander Barrie Ackerlay said: “Building on the success of a similar event last year, we wanted to use this opportunity to focus on defibrillators.
“We have a defib on our fire engine which we can use at an incident, at public events, during training or at the fire station, and we have a publically accessible one installed at the front of our station.
“These devices are becoming a more common site, with people seeing them at football grounds, railway stations and other public buildings, and they are really simple to use. The device tells you exactly what to do, and how to operate it, but many people aren’t aware of this.
“Over the six hours there must have been around 500 people who spent a bit of time watching our demonstrations, finding out about our free Home Fire Risk Checks, looking at the pump or talking to us about our work. Our hope is that those who saw our defib demonstrations will now have the confidence to use one if required, or be able to share that information with others.”
If someone suffers a cardiac arrest, a defibrillator 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.