Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Co-responders on the run

Firefighters have already attended more than 30 medical emergencies since the launch of the Co-Responder scheme in May.

Under the scheme crews at six fire stations have received enhanced first aid training and now attend the most serious cardiac arrest calls as blue light emergencies to give potentially life-saving chest compressions and use a defibrillator on the patient while ambulance crews are on the way.

Firefighters in Basildon, Colchester and Frinton attend in a fire engine while On-call crews at Coggeshall, Newport and Ongar respond in specially marked and equipped Service response cars based at their fire stations.

An Ambulance crew is always sent to the scene but having trained crews on the ground to deliver expert medical care immediately could improve the patients’ chance of survival.

Since the scheme fully launched on May 16 crews have attended 31 calls to Red One cardiac arrest calls.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said: “This scheme is an excellent example of the collaborative work being carried out by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

“By working with the Ambulance Service on the Co-responder scheme we can help make sure people suffering cardiac arrests have the best chance of survival.

“Our crews are already trained in basic life support and all our fire engines are equipped with defibrillators so this scheme enhances what we were already doing. It gives us an opportunity to support a blue light partner and allows us to do more than we have ever done to make Essex safer.”

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