Saving lives on the beat: Greater Manchester Police patrol cars to carry defibrillators

By John McDougall

Heart attack awareness has been given another boost in the North West as Greater Manchester Police’s patrol cars are being fitted with life-saving defibrillators. 

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) have given GMP 36 defibrillators and more than 170 GMP Traffic Network Section officers are being trained to use them.

NWAS Community Resuscitation Manager for Greater Manchester David McNally feels the partnership can only be positive in helping to protect public health throughout the region.  

“We are delighted that GMP is on board with this initiative which will ultimately equip traffic officers to potentially save lives,” he said.

“In the event of a person suffering cardiac arrest, quick action must be taken to give the patient the best chance of survival.

“In every minute that passes without intervention, the chances of survival decrease by up to 14 percent. Effective CPR and defibrillation ensures the patient has the best chance of survival.”

The idea behind the move is so police can administer cardiac care before paramedics arrive, potentially providing life-saving treatment before it is too late. 

Public awareness of cardiac care has skyrocketed over the past year due to former Bolton Wanderers midfielder suffering an on-pitch heart attack last March.

The now retired England under-21 international’s heart stopped for 78 minutes during an FA Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, with defibrillators helping to save his life.   

They have made a difference already, with Sergeant Catherine Hynes describing the equipment’s success in Cheadle following their introduction on April 10. 

“On the first day defibrillators were taken out in cars, two officers used a device on a man who had taken an overdose at his home,” she said.

“Although they did not need to administer a shock, they placed pads on his chest to assess him, and the man was treated by paramedics as soon as they arrived at the scene.

“He was later taken to hospital and made a full recovery. We hope this new way of working with the ambulance service will help to save more lives in future.”

Picture courtesy of Frederick Md Publicity, with thanks.

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