Firefighters to answer call on heart attacks

READY TO SAVE: Torquay Fire and Rescue Station firefighters James Mollenhauer and Chris Morey, and Station Officer Neil Probert, train to use new automated external defibrillator -.
READY TO SAVE: Torquay Fire and Rescue Station firefighters James Mollenhauer and Chris Morey, and Station Officer Neil Probert, train to use new automated external defibrillator -. Tyson Yates

NEW automated external defibrillator equipment being rolled out to urban fire services will see firefighters given new responsibilities as a backup response to ambulance services.

Acting Chief Superintendent of Queensland Fire Service Kevin Devitt said four urban fire service vehicles across the Fraser Coast had been equipped with defibrillators, to help save lives not only of firefighters, but the general public as well.

"Cardiac arrest has been a silent, sudden and indiscriminate killer for the community and it's a great risk for firefighters during dangerous callouts," he said.

"This new equipment will mean we are able to assist ambulances further during an emergency as well as being that extra bit of safety for firefighters."

Defibrillators have been used by rural fire services on the Fraser Coast for the past 12 months and were primarily introduced for firefighter safety. The roll out to urban appliances will see fire services use the equipment when ambulances are unavailable.

"We are expecting a lot more calls as a secondary response to a medical emergency so we'll stay very busy," Supt Devitt said

"It will mean added responsibility for the firefighters but if we can save just one life using this new equipment then that outweighs any challenges."

Neil Probert, Station Officer at Torquay Fire Station said the new defibrillators would give firefighters extra medical support.

"Knowing we have access to this life-saving equipment means myself and other firefighters feel more comfortable," he said.

Topics:  defibrillator, fire fighters

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