Havering firefighters given new life saving equipment

NEW LIFE saving equipment has been rolled out to Havering’s fire stations as part of a scheme with the London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance.

Romford, Hornchurch, Wennington and Harold Hill fire stations have all been kitted out with the new equipment designed to treat casualties at incidents.

London Fire Brigade’s Borough Commander for Havering, Trevor Meers said: “It is good news for the people of Havering because it has been proven that it is life saving and that is the key because it gives us an earleir opportunity to keep people alive.”

The equipment called Immediate Emergency Care (IEC) equipment includes defibrillators, electronic devices used to revive a normal heartbeat, manual suction devices to clear blocked airways, stiff neck collars and improved wound dressings and airway adjunct which help to maintain a clear airway in unconscious patients.

The new gear, which will be carried in a specially designed backpack on all fire engines, will be used when firefighters are the first emergency services to arrive on the scene and it can also be administered to firefighters who may need emergency treatment themselves.

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Trevor Meers said: “The London Ambulance crews have their role to play and we have our job to do but for those oppertunities when we are the first ones on the scene it is enhancing a better chance for saving people’s lives like when they have heart attacks.”

In 2008, three firefighters from Hornchurch fire station were saluted after they managed to save the life of a 18 month old baby when his parents rushed him to Hornchurch Fire Station after they noticed that he had stopped breathing while they were driving in the car.

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Trevor is now hoping that the equipment will help the firefighters to save the lives of more people.

He said: “We are not the emergency services but people will come to us if they are away from a hospital so this equipment will be useful.”

All firefighters have been trained how to use the equipment with a programme that has been developed with the help of the London Ambulance.

Havering Ambulance Operations Manager Michael Cornett said: “Our staff are saving more patients who suffer cardiac arrests and stop breathing than ever before, but in these situations every second is vital so having first aid equipment available on Fire Brigade vehicles is a very good idea.

“Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation while an ambulance is on the way can double a person’s chance of survival and being able to use a defibrillator to restart their heart can further increase their chances by more than a third.”

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