Public access defibrillators
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 about how they can be used to help save a life.
What is a defibrillator?
A defibrillator (also referred to as an automated external defibrillator or AED) is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest.
This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and it's an essential life-saving step in the chain of survival.
Defibrillators are portable and very easy to use. They may vary in appearance, but they function in broadly the same way and guide the operator through the process with prompts and commands.
The machine gives clear spoken instructions, so training is not needed to use one.
The equipment analyses precisely the victim’s heart rhythm and will only deliver a shock if it is required.
Watch this video about using a defibrillator by the British Heart Foundation
Why use a defibrillator?
When someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest, prompt action by anyone nearby offers their only chance of survival.
If you come across someone in cardiac arrest:
first make sure you are safe
call 999 for an ambulance
start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to provide the best chance of survival of the casualty .
Most people who survive will have needed a shock from a defibrillator to correct a chaotic heart rhythm.
The earlier that shock is given, the better the person’s chance of survival. Studies have shown that a shock given within 3 minutes of cardiac arrest provides the best chance of survival and that even one minute of further delay reduces that chance substantially.*
In most situations ambulance services would be unable to reach the scene of a cardiac arrest and deliver a shock within 3 minutes. Further studies have shown that immediate delivery of CPR combined with early use of an automated external defibrillator by members of the public gives a person in cardiac arrest the best chance of surviving.*
KFRS defibrillators are fitted outside every fire station
Where can I find a public access defibrillator?
Public access defibrillators (PADS) can be found in many public places, such as train stations, airports, shopping centres, leisure centres and community facilities.
PADs are available at every fire station in Kent and Medway, and Kent Fire and Rescue Service has plans in place to donate additional PADs to other community groups too.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service's defibrillators are stored outside of each fire station in a clearly marked cabinet. The cabinet is unlocked to save valuable time in an emergency, however an alarm will be triggered to tell us that the defibrillator has been accessed.
The equipment and the consumable items, such as adhesive pads, are maintained by the fire crew, to make sure that the defibrillator is always ready to use when it is needed. If you do use one of our defibrillators, then please return it to the fire station or call 01622 69212.
Further guidance about CPR and defibrillators is available on the British Heart Foundation website.
Frequently asked questions about public access defibrillators can also be found on the Resuscitation Council (UK) website.
KFRS will be running CPR and defibrillator awareness sessions across the county in partnership with with South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb).
Are you interested in volunteering for SECAmb to assist with medical emergencies? Details on being a Community First Responder are available on their website.
*information from Resuscitation Council (UK)