HEART-start packs are set to issued for every fire appliance in Lancashire so colleagues can act quickly if a firefighter suffers a cardiac arrest.

Several incidents have been reported across the UK where firefighters have succumbed to heart attacks in the course of their duties and it is the leading cause of deaths occurring on the job.County firefighters have had at least one incident recently, not thought to be in East Lancashire, where they came across a man suffering a heart attack, while en-route to another emergency.

Fire authority members have now set aside £45,000 to purchase 60 automated external defibrillators, for use across Lancashire.

Not only will the defibrillators be carried on front-line fire engines but they will also be installed at several major fire stations which are regularly used by the public, with Blackburn, Burnley and Hyndburn expected to be among the favoured locations.

Justin Johnson, deputy chief fire officer, said in a report: “Over time the technology has improved and the cost has come down making the business case for purchasing this equipment compelling.”