Firearms officers aid paramedics

SUFFOLK firearms officers helped at 18 medical emergencies in the first month of a link-up between paramedics and police.The armed response teams at Suffolk Police have been given defibrillators and are being called on to attend heart attack patients when ambulance crews are busy.

SUFFOLK firearms officers helped at 18 medical emergencies in the first month of a link-up between paramedics and police.

The armed response teams at Suffolk Police have been given defibrillators and are being called on to attend heart attack patients when ambulance crews are busy.

The partnership between the police and the East of England Ambulance Service is the first of its kind in the country.

The Evening Star revealed the new project last month and yesterday representatives from the two organisations met to talk about success so far.


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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 10 percent.

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

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The five defibrillators now owned by police were funded by the British Heart Foundation and police fundraising. The officers have been trained to use them by the ambulance service.

Pc Simon Chenery from the armed response unit said: “We are keen to take all the skills we have got into the community and hopefully we will soon save a life”.

Rob Lawrence, the ambulance services Chief Operating Officer for Suffolk said: “Statistics tell us it is only a matter of time before they arrive on scene, defibrillate a patient and survive a life and we look forward to celebrating that with them.”

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

n. What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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