Every fire station in Surrey will be equipped with a public access defibrillator to help communities save lives in cardiac arrest emergencies.
Two stations – Chobham and Leatherhead – have already installed defibrillators and will hold community open days to showcase the equipment.
Chobham holds its open day on Saturday 9 May while the Leatherhead event takes place on Sunday 10 May.
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service will install defibrillators at all other fire stations in the county over the coming months in partnership with South East Coast Ambulance Service.
The devices will be available for use by the public at all times and firefighters may be able to assist with some health emergencies if they are at the fire station.
Many firefighters have been given extra training to improve the care they can give to casualties facing life-threatening injuries or illness.
Defibrillators work by delivering an electric shock through the chest in an attempt to restore normal heart rhythm.
Every minute that passes without defibrillation, a patient’s chances of survival decrease by 10%.
All 26 Surrey fire stations will be equipped with a defibrillator by the end of the year thanks to a Government grant.
The devices will be kept in yellow cabinets on the outside of fire stations. The access code for the defibrillator is available by dialling 999 and asking for the ambulance service, who will also provide life-saving instructions while additional help is on the way.
Fire engines in Surrey have already been fitted with defibrillators to help firefighters save more lives at the scene of emergencies.
The community open days at Chobham and Leatherhead will feature demonstrations of defibrillators and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and visitors will be offered the chance to have a go themselves.
There will also be activities for children including dressing up as a firefighter, as well as health advice on stroke management and blood pressure.
For more information on the events, please go to the Surrey County Council website.
Listen to Ian Thomson, area commander at Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, discussing the initiative on BBC Surrey.
Audio courtesy of BBC Surrey.