LIFE-SAVING defibrillators have been fitted in Roads Policing Unit vehicles and GoSafe vans across North Wales.

Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) will allow officers and staff to provide potentially life-saving care in emergencies.

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services, has made Welsh Government funding available to enable the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust to purchase the AED for use by North Wales Police.

As part of the initiative, police officers equipped with defibrillators, who are available to respond, will be alerted to a potential cardiac arrest at the same time as ambulance crews. This means that if they reach the patient first, or are already on scene, they can begin providing life-saving treatment until a skilled clinician arrives.

Armed Alliance Officers already carry defibrillators in all of their vehicles.

Superintendent Jane Banham, Roads Policing Unit, said: “The new devices mean the difference between life and death, because if someone is in cardiac arrest time is of the essence.

“A number of our officers have been trained in the use of the defibrillators and this will allow them to provide enhanced medical aid if required when they are first on the scene of serious incidents.

“We are delighted to be working with the Welsh Ambulance Service to help save lives across North Wales. Equipping our Roads Policing officers with this essential life-saving equipment will enable the team to respond to these critical life or death emergency calls.”

Wen someone goes into cardiac arrest, time is of the essence and early defibrillation is a crucial part of the ‘chain of survival’.

For every passing minute without cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation, a person’s chance of survival decreases by 10% so quick and reliable access to a defibrillator combined with CPR can mean the difference between life and death.

The equipment has been fitted into some Roads Policing Vehicles and GoSafe vans and will be deployed in cases of out of hospital cardiac arrests in support of ambulance service colleagues.

Carl Powell, Welsh Ambulance NHS Trust, said “We are delighted to work in partnership with North Wales Police as part of Save A life Cymru (Welsh Government scheme) which supports the installation of public access defibrillators.

"This is a great step forward in supporting the communities of North Wales in improving early access to a defibrillator which is an essential part of the chain of survival.

“The defibrillators can be used at a cardiac arrest by any member of the public, no formal training is required. The devices are designed to give clear instructions to the user to ensure the safety of both the rescuer and the patient without any prior knowledge or experience.”