Fire crews to use defibrillator
A Newquay fire appliance has started carrying a defibrillator to respond to incidents where people have suffered a cardiac arrest.
Newquay Fire Station has joined a national scheme which aims to provide additional support to the ambulance service to help save lives. Newquay station commander, Stewart Whitworth, said: “It is important to stress that paramedics will be there to support our crews, but if we can get there first then our crews are now trained to use a defibrillator.
“The scheme was piloted in Cornwall in Penzance and was used within the first few days. We want the community to know that they can anticipate a fire crew might be the first in attendance at a medical incident. We will ensure that if we attend a medical incident our normal fire cover commitments stays in place.”
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is behind the defibrillator scheme.
Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet member for Communities, said: “The initiative is going to be rolled out to full-time stations in Cornwall. It is a fantastic tribute to these lads who are prepared to take it on. We all know the ambulance service does a fantastic job, but with heart attacks time is critical so if our fire crews get there first with a defibrillator it could save a life.
“That is what it is all about, saving lives and keeping the community safe. It is a good example of joined up working.”