Confusion over use of life-saving equipment

Chris Darlington of  Brigg 1st Responders by the defibrillator equipment at the Angel. EMN-160318-070124001
Chris Darlington of Brigg 1st Responders by the defibrillator equipment at the Angel. EMN-160318-070124001
  • EMAS issues statement over defibrillator codes after incident

Officials at the East Midlands Ambulance Service have clarified the situation regarding access codes to life-saving defibrillator equipment after an incident in Brigg town centre.

A man collapsed in the NatWest Bank last week and manager Hilary O’Connor rang 999 while colleagues rushed off to the nearby Angel Hotel - the location of the nearest defbrillator.

Ms O’Connor, said: “I rang 999 and was told there was a defibrillator at the entrance to the Angel.

“I was asked by the operator on the emergency phone line whether it was key or code operated.”

Ms O’Connor was given the code but her colleagues had already gone to the Angel and were desperately searching for a code - not realising it was only handed out by EMAS.

The defibrillator is at the main entrance to the Angel Suite in Brigg market place and was installed in 2013.

EMAS community response manager for Lincolnshire, Steve Pratten, said: “Defibrillators are lifesaving pieces of equipment, and when someone is in cardiac arrest, can be the difference between life and death.

“We were called to an emergency on March 16 and advised a patient had collapsed in a bank in Brigg.

“Details of the nearest automated defibrillator, including the access code for the cabinet, were given to the caller, however our first responder arrived within seven minutes with a defibrillator and other equipment.”

First to arrive on the scene was a local LIVES first responder, who had equipment.

Chris Darlington of Brigg Responders explained the difficulty: “It is policy nationally not to make the code number visible, for obvious reasons.

“A chap in the bank started CPR and thankfully our responder arrived quickly and continued CPR; the man who had collapsed responded.”

The defibrillator was provided by Brigg Rotary Club in association with Brigg Lives First Responders.

EMAS supports communities with fundraising for defibrillators.

They are currently working with several partners to offer a package, which includes a defibrillator, cabinet to store it and equipment training for £999.