Debfrillators installed at heart of North Wales communitiesPosted
Lifesaving defibrillators are being installed at fire stations across North Wales.
Funded by Welsh Government, the machines will be available in clearly identified cabinets fixed outside fire station premises where they can be immediately accessed by members of the public in the event of somebody in the area suffering a cardiac arrest.
The first defibrillators will be installed at fire stations over the coming weeks.
Modern defibrillators provide verbal step by step operating instructions and will only deliver a shock if a patient is in cardiac arrest - thereby ensuring they are not used in the wrong situations.
With rapid treatment critical to the chances of survival, these defibrillators could literally mean the difference between life and death for victims of a cardiac arrest.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Richard Fairhead said: "The Welsh Government and all public services are committed to improving the quality of our services. We are already taking part in a pilot scheme with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust aimed at working together to save lives, whereby members of the public living within specific areas and requiring emergency medical assistance may receive a response from local fire and rescue service personnel.
"Installing lifesaving defibrillators at all our fire stations is seen as an extension of this commitment. During cardiac arrest, every minute that passes without defibrillation means a patient's chance of survival decreases by about 10 per cent - they're absolutely vital in the chain of survival.
"This initiative helps to put defibrillators in places where they're needed the most and will undoubtedly save lives."
Chair of the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority Councillor Meirick Davies said: "Quite simply, defibrillators save lives and making them publically accessible at fire stations puts life-saving capabilities in everybody's hands.
"A modern fire and rescue service does far more than putting out fires and attending road traffic collisions - we're committed to making North Wales a safer place and the installation of defibrillators highlights that commitment."
Jason Williams, Welsh Ambulance Service First Responder Officer, said: "We are already working in partnership with the fire and rescue service in training fire service personnel with the aim of providing a Co-Responder response to appropriate emergency incidents. We are very happy to see the clear support of the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service for their communities and the installation of these defibrillators is a further extension of that provision of care. The fact that they are being made accessible to the general public is sure to save more lives and we thank the fire and rescue service for their work in this regard."