Defibrillators and bleed control kits have been installed in Brent for the public to use in case of an emergency to save lives.
The kits, which have been funded through the council’s Edward Harvist Trust Fund, can help to buy precious time until an ambulance arrives.
In 2021, London recorded the highest number of teenage homicides caused by knife and gun crimes. That year, the UK’s capital saw the murders of 30 male teenagers aged between 14 and 19 and 74.4% of all homicides were caused by knives or sharp implements, a 15.6% increase from 2020.
Gun and knife violence also disproportionately impacts diverse communities and communities with higher rates of poverty. Having these kits readily available has the potential to save lives.
The defib and bleed control kits are located at:
• Wembley fire station, 591a Harrow Road HA0 2EG
• Park royal fire station, 15 Waxlow Road NW10 7NU
• Willesden fire station, 59a Pound Lane NW10 2HH
The kits can be used by anyone – they don’t require any specialist skills and instructions will guide users through what to do, or emergency call takers will talk people through how to use them correctly.
The defib will jumpstart someone’s heart and restart it if they are unresponsive and not breathing. If a person has been stabbed, the bleed control kit contains items to help save a life, such as tourniquet, emergency foil blanket and dressings.
Councillor Harbi Farah, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities and Public Protection at Brent Council said: “Everyone deserves to feel safe when they are out but sadly, incidents do happen where people are seriously injured and need urgent help.
“In an emergency, quick action is vital to save lives, particularly for knife crime victims, where minutes can make a difference. I am proud we have funded these life-saving pieces of equipment which are an asset to the borough, helping keep people safe and respond to emergencies before the police and ambulance service arrive.
“Training and educating the community is important and we will continue to work with the London Fire Brigade to raise awareness of these kits. You can help too by telling your friends and neighbours about the kits and where to find them. Hopefully they won’t need to be used, but it’s good to know they are there if required.”
The London Fire Brigade’s Borough Commander for Brent, Alan Allmark, said: “Helping our local communities in the fight against knife violence is a priority to the Brigade. I’m immensely proud that Firefighter Jason Kubiak, from Willesden Fire Station, had the vision and drive to take this project forward.
“This lifesaving equipment is a great asset to Brent and holding events, such as this community day, will help inform our residents of this essential equipment and of how to use it in an emergency.”
Firefighter Jason Kubiak, who initiated the project, said: “This project is very close to my heart as my nephew was stabbed when he was a teenager. Luckily he survived, but 15 years on it has left him with both physical and emotional scars.
“I have seen the effects of knife violence, my family were lucky and we still have my nephew, many are not so lucky. This is where my passion to give something back stems from. By obtaining and placing defibrillators and bleed kits outside of our fire stations and educating the community on how to use them, we might help to save someone’s life.
“I am pleased my vision has been realised and the recent community day provides an opportunity to educate the local community on how to use the defibrillator and bleed kits and make a real difference.”