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Burton fire chiefs back defibrillator campaign bid

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 29, 2014

By Rob Smyth

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EVERY firefighter in East Staffordshire is trained in how to use a defibrillator.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has revealed all of its engines were fitted with the lifesaving devices in a move designed to improve safety.

The devices were initially fitted in the event that a firefighter fell ill at work, but they can also be used to save the lives of members of the public.

The Mail is continuing its Stay Fit, Stay Alive campaign to get more defibrillators introduced across the area after a 64-year-old man was left brain damaged and fighting for life after suffering a cardiac arrest while working out at a local gym.

A spokesman for the fire service 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 lifesaving 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 Cardiac Science Corporation provided 50 per cent of the funding for the defibrillators.

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."

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