Armed police do job as lifesavers

ARMED police in Suffolk have been given new weapons - electric shock machines to help save lives.

ARMED police in Suffolk have been given new weapons - electric shock machines to help save lives.

In an innovative partnership between the county's police and ambulance teams, armed response units are being called to help patients having heart attacks and cardiac arrests.

The police are called if they are able to reach the victims quicker than ambulance crews.

Rob Lawrence, the East of England Ambulance Service's chief operating officer for Suffolk, said: “We train police armed response units in basic life support and trauma incidents and the partnership has now developed so they are paying us back and carrying defibrillators.

“They are like police first responders, responding if they are closer.

“Statistics tell us that it is only a matter of time before they arrive on scene, defibrillate a patient and save a life, and we look forward to celebrating that with them.”

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Reaching cardiac arrest patients as quick as possible is vital because for every minute's delay in getting to a patient, the chances of survival reduce by 10per cent.

Cardiac arrests cause the heart either to quiver or stop beating and defibrillators deliver a controlled electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat.

The police/ambulance partnership started in July, and the response teams were called eight times in the first week alone.

The East of England Ambulance Service is also currently overseeing a government funded programme where 240 defibrillators are being set up in public places in East Anglia. So far, they have been placed at sites including Ipswich Railway Station, Ipswich's Crown Pools swimming pool, Tesco at Martlesham and Suffolk County Council's Endeavour House.

N Has your life been saved thanks to a defibrillator? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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