Life-saving equipment for heart attack victims has been handed to Bexley police officers
PUBLISHED: 09:41 04 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:47 05 September 2017
It is part of a London-wide initiative
Police on the beat around the borough are now better equipped to help save the life of someone having a heart attack.
From Monday, September 4, 15 defibrillator units have been handed to Bexley officers, as part of a London-wide initiative which began in November 2015.
“Every second counts when someone is in cardiac arrest,” said Chris Hartley-Sharpe, head of first responders at London Ambulance Service.
“The only way to restart a heart is with a defibrillator, so the sooner one arrives with someone trained to use it, the better the outcome for the patient.
“While we will always send an ambulance response as a priority, by working together with the Met we can ensure patients in cardiac arrest receive vital treatment as quickly as possible.”
According to Met Police, the average survival rate for a Londoner in cardiac arrest is nine per cent. At Heathrow the rate is 75 per cent.
A spokesperson from the force said the difference was “thanks to the availability of so many Automated External Defibrillators and availability of staff and emergency services personnel to use them effectively.
“Working together, the cardiac survival rate will increase and more lives will be saved.”
Based on results so far, Scotland Yard believes the scheme could save dozens of lives each year.
In 2013, 16-year-old Bexleyheath Academy student Phillip Lamin died from a heart attack while playing football with his friends.
Since then, his mother, Juliet Lamin, has been campaigning for better access to defibrillators, and said she is keen to get involved with officers during the rollout, saying: “It’s fantastic news to see defibs being issued, the first five minutes are so precious after a cardiac arrest and this will provide better access.
“But I would like to see more access to defibs in schools, that is where most of our young people are, and they are still at risk, in my opinion defibs should be treated like fire extinguishers, so that they are there in an emergency and someone is always there, ready to use them.”
Borough commander ch supt Stuart Bell added: “As an emergency service we often are the first on scene dealing with individuals suffering significant medical illnesses and serious injury.
“Our officers in Bexley engage in manual CPR on numerous occasions every year in an attempt to save lives. Access to the kit will greatly improve our chances of keeping people alive until paramedics arrive and I welcome our investment in this life saving equipment.”