FIREFIGHTERS will be on hand to explain how to use life-saving defibrillators at Whitley Wood fire station.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is hosting an awareness session tomorrow evening on how to use the equipment from 6.30 to 9pm.

All-but one of the stations is fitted with the device, which will allow members of the public to shock anyone who is suffering from cardiac arrest.

South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) will be on hand to offer demonstrations on Tuesday evening.

Neil Carter, group manager at RBFRS, said: “We are delighted to be installing the Public Access Defibrillators outside every fire station in Royal Berkshire.

"Our stations are naturally situated in the most populated areas, providing ideal locations for the devices in the heart of communities.

"The defibrillators will be available to the public 24 hours a day and not just when the fire station is occupied.

"We have worked closely with SCAS to identify the most suitable public access box to purchase and we are pleased to be able to provide these to the community.”

The equipment is clearly labelled with activated voice instructions to guide the user whilst they wait for an ambulance to arrive.

A defibrillator detects the heart's rhythm and will not deliver a shock unless one is needed.

A spokesman for RBFRS added: "If someone suffers a cardiac arrest, a defibrillator can deliver an electrical current through the chest, which aims to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm, allowing it to pump again.

"In an emergency, proper use of the devices, in conjunction with the ambulance will offer the casualty the best chance of survival.

"The installation of public access defibrillators is just one way in which RBFRS is contributing to a broader safety, health and wellbeing agenda in the communities it serves."