Life-saving defibrillators installed in Barking and Dagenham’s police cars and vehicles
PUBLISHED: 11:00 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:05 12 July 2017
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Defibrillators have been installed in police stations and response vehicles across Barking and Dagenham as part of a bid to increase patient survival rates.
The life-saving equipment is being phased in across the capital following a successful pilot, with the borough joining Redbridge and Hillingdon in becoming equipped with the devices this week.
Their installation will allow police officers to respond to life-threatening emergencies alongside ambulance crews, increasing the chance of a patient surviving a cardiac arrest.
Members of both emergency services will be alerted to a potential cardiac arrest at the same time, meaning if police officers reach the scene first, or are already on scene, they can begin providing life-saving treatment until a skilled clinician arrives.
Chris Hartley-Sharpe, head of first responders at London Ambulance Service, explained that “every second counts” when someone has suffered a cardiac arrest.
He said: “The only way to restart a heart is with a defibrillator so the sooner one arrives with someone trained to use it, the better the outcome for the patient.
“While we will always send an ambulance response as a priority, by working together with the police service we can ensure patients in cardiac arrest receive vital treatment as quickly as possible.”
The scheme has already been piloted in four boroughs – Havering, Croydon, Enfield and Ealing – and will be rolled out gradually across the capital until November.
Based on results from the pilot, it is estimated dozens of lives could be saved as a result of the scheme.
Sue Warner, strategic health and safety adviser at the Metropolitan Police, said: “We are delighted to be working with the London Ambulance Service to save lives across London.
“Equipping our response team vehicles and station offices with this essential life saving equipment will enable over 1320 officers to respond to these critical life or death emergency calls. ”
It is the latest initiative to be supported by the London Ambulance Service to increase cardiac arrest survival rates in the capital, with the number of defibrillators increasing by 350 per cent in the last five years.
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