200 attend life-saving displays at fire station

Fri 11 Jan, 2019

Firefighter demonstrating automatic electronic defibrillator

More than 200 people visited Newport Pagnell Fire Station on Sunday morning (6 January) to learn vital information which could help save lives.

Firefighters were promoting awareness of how to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and how to locate the nearest automatic electronic defibrillators (AED).

There is one at the front of the fire station in Wolverton Road, and crews also carry one on their fire engine.

In an effort to increase awareness and build confidence in their use, the duty watch gave demonstrations using the Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s training AED equipment, and performed CPR on a Resusci Anne mannequin. 

They were also joined by Crew Commander Des O'Connor, a co-responder based at Olney Fire Station, who gave some first-hand insight into his experiences with life-saving equipment.

Co-responders are specially-trained firefighters who are dispatched by South Central Ambulance Service’s Emergency Operations Centre to a range of medical emergencies to provide life-saving treatment and care to patients before an ambulance arrives on scene. The co-responders do not replace emergency ambulances, but can give early medical treatment until an ambulance arrives.

Because of its size and restricted facilities, Newport Pagnell has not hosted an open day for many years, instead assisting Broughton Fire Station each year, so it was no surprise that the local people were keen to visit. 

In addition to the AED and CPR initiative, children were able to make use of the station’s nursery box containing interactive resources, games and books which had been laid out for them. Much fun was had dressing up looking through the books, which also generated interest from local nursery staff. 

The station’s new Volvo fire engine, and its Water Rescue Unit and boat, were moved into the yard to allow visitors to take a closer look, and the turntable ladder crew from Great Holm Fire Station came along as well to demonstrate even more of the rescue capabilities available in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire.

Firefighter Rob Martin from Newport Pagnell Fire Station said: “The feedback was extremely positive, both in terms of the life-saving information provided and the opportunity to visit the fire station. 

“Similar events are already being planned, with the hope of attracting an even wider audience.”

Although no stalls or vendors were invited, collection buckets for The Fire Fighters Charity were placed by the door, and generous local people donated more than £135.