Here is an interesting article from The Portugal News Online. It stated Christmas appeared to have arrived early for the number of Firebrigades (Bombeiros) in Algarve. The report went on to outline how 6AEDs portable defibrillators were delivered on Friday 22 December, to six more Bombeiros Commands. They have titled the project ‘Operation Shock’.
Afpop which is an organisation of expats presented the equipment to the commanders at a short ceremony at the Portimão Bombeiros station. So far defibrillators have now been supplied to the stations at Aljezur, Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa, Tavira, São Bras and Olhão. Future equipment will be presented to the stations in the order suggested by the Bombeiros Federation.
If you come originally from Ireland or England you take for granted that your fire service is well-equipped that’s not always the case in Portugal. Though staffed by excellent and well-trained individuals their equipment is often substandard. A number of different expat organisations have fundraised over the years resulting in the purchase of much need equipment including ambulances. Having booked a holiday rental in Albufeira or elsewhere please donate if you get the opportunity.
Commander Mário Costa of the Federação dos Bombeiros do Algarve (FBA) said: “We are very grateful to afpop for this initiative and for the support of the foreign residents in the Algarve. Our thanks go to all who have supported the ‘Operation Shock’ campaign, which will help us to be able to save lives across the Algarve.”
The equipment supplied, as identified by the Bombeiros, is the Philips HeartStart FRx Defibrillator with ‘Infant Key’, which enables the machine to also be used on children without causing further damage to their hearts. The equipment is lightweight and can be used quickly by the Bombeiros’ nurses on the scene. The portable defibrillators are provided to equip one red ambulance in each command, which does not come fitted with such equipment as standard.
This fund-raising initiative by Foreign Residents’ Association ‘afpop’, in conjunction with the Federation of Bombeiros of the Algarve, has the aim of providing a mobile defibrillator unit for each of the 17 Bombeiros commands in the Algarve. The target amount is €20,000, which will enable afpop to purchase and supply the equipment to the Bombeiros.
Donations to the ‘Operation Shock’ campaign can be in any amount, but please contact the afpop office to ask for the details of the account. Please visit the website http://www.afpop.com and click on the ‘Operation Shock’ image. All donations are welcome and the equipment will be supplied to each station as soon as there are sufficient funds in the account to purchase the next unit.
Please remember, the next life that could be saved might be yours!
The reason for the ‘Operation Shock’campaign is that only the yellow INEM Emergency ambulances are fully equipped with defibrillator equipment as standard.
The red Bombeiros ambulances do not come equipped with them and this is, of course, a problem if they are called to a sick or injured person, who then goes into cardiac arrest either at the scene or on the way to hospital, as manual CPR is not easy to maintain for any length of time and is especially difficult in a moving ambulance.