Peel emergency service groups boosted by improved access to life-saving defibrillators

Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (BFB) and State Emergency Service (SES) units in the Peel region will receive life-saving defibrillators next year, as part of a new initiative to better equip volunteers during emergencies.

From 2020, almost 800 rescue service vehicles across the state will be fitted out with new Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs).

An AED is a portable device that automatically assesses someone who is having an apparent heart attack and, if necessary, delivers a small electric shock through the chest to the heart.

South coastal metropolitan region superintendent Ray Buchan said the Peel community would benefit from the improved resources available to local emergency service groups.

"A total of 48 defibrillators will be distributed between all 23 Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades and State Emergency Service units in the Peel region," he said.

"This includes those in the City of Mandurah, Shire of Murray, Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Shire of Boddington and Shire of Waroona."

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Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) commissioner Darren Klemm said the roll-out would further improve safety conditions for WA's volunteer personnel, especially those in regional communities.

"Volunteers are crucial to our emergency response in WA, particularly in the regions, and we rely on each and every one of them to keep our communities safe," he said.

"DFES is always striving to create a safer state and improve the conditions in which our volunteers operate, and while some already have access to AEDs, this initiative will ensure they are installed on BFB and SES vehicles from 2020 onwards.

"We've worked closely with the Western Australian Local Government Association, the Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades and the SES Volunteers Association to implement this rollout, and I thank them for their collaboration on this initiative."

Funding for the defibrillators will be delivered through the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) - the primary mechanism of funding emergency services in WA.

DFES will also continue to reimburse volunteers for training costs associated with the use of defibrillators through the ESL.