Police stations fitted with defibrillators in hope of saving lives

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Sudbury police station has been equipped with a defibrillator after seven lifesaving devices were donated by the East of England Ambulance Trust.

Defibrillators are now available across the county in Sudbury and Hadleigh, as well as Lowestoft, Ipswich, Stowmarket, Haverhill and Newmarket, with two devices already in place in Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall.

Bury St Edmunds based Pc Daniel Witter has been working with the ambulance service after it offered to place the automated external defibrillators (AED) in stations for police and public use.

Pc Witter had to have a heart operation after suffering a sudden cardiac arrhythmia in 2013.

He was able to seek medical assistance immediately, but said the experience made him realise the importance of swift intervention.

“My wife is a paramedic and, through her, I was made aware that the East of England ambulance trust had provided funding for additional AEDs to be distributed throughout the community,” he said.

“Working alongside the ambulance project leaders, I was able to secure seven external defibrillators located within Suffolk police premises.

“I felt this initiative would benefit both police staff and the wider community, providing potential lifesaving equipment in the event of a life-threatening medical emergency.”

The portable electronic device automatically diagnoses cardiac arrhythmias and is able to treat them through defibrillation, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.

Each machine has instructions but is designed to be easy to use with simple audio and visual commands to give guidance to users.