20 fire engines now carry defibrillators

Tue 22 Sep, 2015

Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell is pictured handing Aylesbury’s AED over to Watch Commander Jamie Humphrey.

Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority’s commitment to embracing new ways of working to reduce deaths and injuries has resulted in AEDs (automatic external defibrillators) being carried on 20 fire engines from this week.

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.

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.

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.”

The fire engines carry the Defibtech Lifeline AED, supplied by Martek Lifecare.

Public-access defbrillators are also available at Brill, Princes Risborough, Waddesdon and Winslow Fire Stations, and there are plans for more.