Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service could be saving more lives thanks to a charity initiative to bring defibrillators to communities.

The local fire authority agreed on a partnership with the Community Heartbeat Trust at its meeting yesterday to put the machines in every station in the county. When complete, 27 community public access defibrillators (CAPDs) will be installed in Nottinghamshire, and the first has already been put into the service's headquarters this week.

John Buckley, chief fire officer for Nottinghamshire, said: "This idea was really born from two stations in Collingham and Warsop, where the community had led on bringing the defibrillators to the stations." He continued "When we saw that there was an appetite for this, we began talking to the Community Heartbeat Trust and I think we can do a lot more by stepping forward as a service," 

A clinical study by DiMio showed that after a cardiac arrest, the chance of survival falls by 23 percent every minute. And with this shocking statistic in mind, the charity has recommended that a defibrillator is made available anywhere where medical help is more than five minutes away.

Martin Fagan, national secretary of the Community Heartbeat Trust said the benefits are clear for local people. "With the best will in the world and despite the amazing job they do, ambulances can not always get there in time to save someone's life," he went on to say "With a cardiac arrest, time is of the essence, and this project with bring life-saving equipment to the centre of communities."

Each CAPD will cost around £1,500, with fund raising taking place in each community, but the fire service will cover the installation costs – between £150 to £200 – for all the sites, equating to £5,000 from its estates maintenance budget.

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