New fire engine equipment is a real lifesaver

All 60 of the county's fire engines have been fitted with life saving defibrillators.
All 60 of the county's fire engines have been fitted with life saving defibrillators.
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All 60 of the county’s fire engines have been fitted with a new piece of life-saving equipment.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s fire engines now have a defibrillator on board and crews have been trained how to use them.

The decision to fit the fire engines with the equipment was made earlier this year and cost Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service £45,600.

The Lancashire Combined Authority meeting heard how there has been a number of incidents up and down the country where firefighters have suffered a heart attack whilst undertaking operational activities. And there have been many occasions where fire crews have attended to members of the public where a defibrillator would have been used had it been available.

Lancashire’s Chief Fire Officer, Chris Kenny, said: “Inevitably, the incidents firefighters deal with often create casualties, many with physical injuries and all having experienced the trauma inflicted by the car crash, the fire or whatever prompted the 999 call.

“A defibrillator offers a vital additional resource for firefighters to use to add to the first aid, CPR and oxygen therapy they can provide at such times to supplement the specialised treatment that paramedics deliver on their arrival at the scene.

“Underpinning this important contribution to public welfare is the fact that firefighters themselves are not immune to the impact of the stress and physical impact of an incident response and a heart attack is cited in research as the leading cause of death on duty for firefighters.”

The service’s existing fleet of fire enginesus also in the process of being replaced.

They are being replaced at a five a year rate on a rolling programme with the oldest to go first.

*A defibrillator is a life-saving machine that gives the heart an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest. This is called defibrillation and can save lives.

Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body.

Applying a controlled shock within five minutes of collapse provides the best possible chances of survival.