Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Firefighters support the Ambulance Service in their communities

A life-saving scheme will see three on call fire stations in Essex respond to blue light medical emergencies in their communities as Co-Responders goes live on Monday, May 9.

The Co-Responders Scheme will see ‘on call’ firefighters at Coggeshall, Newport and Ongar alerted to Cardiac Arrest calls at the same time as the East of England Ambulance Service Trust.

Each ‘on call’ station has received training from the Ambulance Service and been equipped by the NHS to deal with a blue light medical response incident; and because they live and work in the community, the likelihood is that they will reach a casualty quickly and give them the best patient care prior to the arrival of an ambulance/paramedic.

An Ambulance crew will always be sent to the scene but having someone on the ground to deliver expert medical care immediately could improve their chances of survival.

The on call Firefighters will respond to a Cardiac Arrest incident in a specially marked and equipped service response car.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said: “This is an excellent example of the blue light collaboration work we are doing at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service with our other emergency service partners.

“Our fire stations are already at the heart of our communities and this co-responder scheme means that they will now be able to provide an immediate response to a medical incident if called upon.

Rob Ashford, East of England Ambulance Service Interim Director of Service Delivery, said: “Co-responding will help improve patient care and save lives. When someone is in cardiac arrest, immediate and effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use of a defibrillator can greatly increase the chances of survival.

“The ambulance service will continue to send paramedics to such patients as a priority, but the best thing for the patient is to get someone trained in basic life support to their side as quickly as possible.”

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