Police patrolling Merseyside’s main roads and motorways will soon to be armed with a new piece of life-saving kit.

The North West Ambulance Service has donated 30 defibrilators to Merseyside Police’s roads policing department and trained traffic officers how to use them.   The aim is to give first responders such as the police the tools they need to help try and save someone’s life at the scene of a traffic collision until paramedics arrive.

The ‘Automated External Defibrilators’ (AEDs) can increase the chances of survival for a person who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest by 40 per cent.   The defibrilators have been put into thirty traffic cars used by RPD officers, who have received specialist training to bolster their existing First Aid skills.   The equipment is small and portable and can be used to check a person’s heart rhythm. If the rhythm indicates a cardiac arrest, the defibrilator sends an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm.

A sudden cardiac arrest is fatal in 95 per cent of cases but rapid use of a defibrilator can be life-saving.   Inspector Joe Danher from the roads policing unit, said: “Time is absolutely crucial in treating someone suffering cardiac arrest and it can come down to a matter of seconds whether someone lives or dies.   “Police officers often arrive at the scene of serious incident first and having a defibrilator in their police car will really help them give basic but potentially life-saving treatment before the medical experts arrive.

“All my officers have received thorough tuition from the ambulance service and this has bolstered the First Aid skills they already have from their police training. As a department we are extremely grateful to them for giving us this really important equipment and it is a good example of the way the emergency serives pull together in trying to save lives on a daily basis.”

Robert Sharples, Community Resuscitation Development Officer, North West Ambulance Service, said: “Enhancing police life-saving training and placing defibrillators on their vehicles means that officers – who are regularly out and about in the community – can save the life of someone who is suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest until we arrive on the scene.

“Over the past 12 months there were 22,740 cardiac-related incidents in Merseyside, so this is a great opportunity for the police and ambulance service to work together to save lives.”   He added: “This training will replicate work we have done with other specialised units within Merseyside Police. As we are fast approaching the festive season there is a very real likelihood the traffic officers are likely to come across an incident where basic life saving and defibrillation are required prior to an ambulance arrival.”

Pictured above is  Inspector Joe Danher and Police Constables Steve McLoughlin and Phil Pryor from Merseyside Police with Rob Sharples (Community Resuscitation Development Officer) and Janet Graham (Community Resuscitation Training Officer) from the ambulance service at Maghull police station yesterday.

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