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This article was reproduced with the kind permission
of the British Broadcasting Corporation



Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 15:59 GMT
Firefighter heart kit saves life

The chief of Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Service has paid tribute to firefighters who saved the life of an elderly woman using a defibrillator.

The brigade invested £30,000 earlier this year to become the first in Scotland to provide each of their 26 frontline appliances with the kit.

A crew from Alloa fire station came upon the unconscious woman by chance in a car on Tullibody Road last week.

Firefighters were able to re-start her heart using the defibrillator.

The incident happened on Thursday at about 1520 GMT as the crew returned from another call.

A spokesman for the service said that initially the firefighters thought they had happened upon a car accident as two vehicles sat stationary by the roadside.

'Highest traditions'

On inspection they discovered the woman, who has not been named, was not breathing and had no pulse.

Suspecting that she had suffered a heart attack, the crew were able to save her using the defibrillator by administering an electric shock to the heart.

The woman is now being cared for at Stirling Royal Infirmary.

Chief fire officer Steven Torrie said: "The actions of our crew at Alloa fire station were in the highest traditions of the service and are a shining example of the Fire and Rescue Service at its best.

"The benefits of the fire board's investment in providing defibrillators on all our frontline fire appliances has been demonstrated in full by potentially saving a life on this occasion."

Figures show there were 10,331 deaths from coronary heart disease across the country in 2005, almost all of which were down to heart attacks.

According to researchers, the use of defibrillators in the minutes after someone has suffered a serious heart attack can prevent death.