West mids defib 180Three Birmingham fire stations have had life-saving defibrillators installed for public use thanks to a link-up between the West Midlands’ fire and ambulance services.

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can be used to restart someone’s heart following a cardiac arrest. Defibrillation needs to be given quickly, as every second that passes after the heart stops can have a huge impact on survival chances.

Station Commander Andy Smith, of West Midlands Fire Service, said: “The AEDs are outside the fire stations in locked boxes. When they’re needed, people can get the code to unlock them by calling ambulance control on 999.

“The important thing when anyone has a cardiac arrest is to dial 999 for an ambulance and to start CPR. But fetching a defibrillator to the scene could literally make the difference between life and death.

“All of our firefighters and many of our staff are trained in how to use AEDs, and all of our frontline response vehicles carry them. People often head straight to our stations in an emergency, so they’re a perfect location for defibrillators.”

Sheldon, Erdington and Bournbrook stations have received the devices from West Midlands Ambulance Service

Andy Jeynes, West Midlands Ambulance Services’ Community Response Manager for Birmingham, added: “We’re happy to work in partnership with West Midlands Fire Service to help save lives in the community.

“With every fire engine already carrying a defibrillator, these new deployments mean that a firefighter is never too far from a life-saving device which can only be a good thing for a patient in cardiac arrest.”

Photo: Andy Jeynes and Ali Vinson of WMAS hand over one of the AEDs at Sheldon fire station to Station Commander Andy Smith and Watch Commander Nathan Highfield.