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Firefighters share life-saving advice with Gravesend Sikh community

Firefighters share life-saving advice with Gravesend Sikh community

3 July 2018

More than 100 adults and children from Gravesend’s Sikh community can now help save lives thanks to a recent training event run by Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) at the town’s Gurdwara.

Local Sikh residents learned that knowing what to do when someone goes into cardiac arrest could make all the difference to the person’s chances of survival. Most cardiac arrests occur in the home, so it’s very likely that these new skills could be used to help save the life of a loved one.

Station Manager, Mark Havell, who led the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training explained: “You might see someone collapse, lose consciousness and stop breathing. The longer the body goes without circulation, the lower the chance of survival.

“When a life is at risk, starting CPR until professional help arrives could make all the difference. We know that the chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest increases significantly, by more than double, when CPR is started early.”

The Gurdwara has had two public access defibrillators installed in recent months and people were shown how to use these life-saving machines, which can give the heart a controlled electrical shock during a cardiac arrest.

Gurdwara Community Welfare, Liaison and Day Center Lead, Jagdev Singh Virdee, said: “It’s important for as many people as possible to undertake this training. But, even if we managed to save one person’s life because we had someone who had this training nearby when someone collapses, then it’s well worth it.

“Everyone seemed to enjoy the training as well as the learning. On behalf of the Gurdwara and everyone who took part, I would like to thank KFRS for a really interesting and useful session.”

Around 13 children a day end up in specialist burns units as a result of burns and scalds, so  firefighters explained the importance of knowing how to treat burns and scalds by cooling them with cool or lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes under a running tap or a shower or bath for larger areas.

Fire crews also highlighted the need for working smoke alarms, escape plans and the benefits of KFRS’ safe and well visits.

Public access defibrillators (PADs) have been fitted outside every fire station across the county. This equipment is available for members of the public to use in the event of an emergency situation where someone is in cardiac arrest. 

Here is some more information and guidance on how they can be used to help save a life.

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