Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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One year on: fire service and Ambulance celebrate community scheme

It has now been a year since firefighters from Basildon, Colchester, Frinton, Coggeshall, Newport and Ongar began responding to cardiac arrest calls as part of the Co-responding pilot.

In that time, our Service has attended more than 200 blue light medical emergencies, working in partnership with The East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST).

Firefighters at the six stations were given enhanced first aid and CPR training as well as being provided with defibrillators, often proving vital in ‘Red One’ calls – where a patient’s heart has stopped or they are no longer breathing.

Ambulances have continued to be sent to the scene, but it is widely agreed that having fire crews on site delivering medical care immediately could increase the probability of survival.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said: “The co-responding scheme has proven to be a great success over the past year. We have attended hundreds of incidents with EEAST and helped give life-saving care.

“I’d like to thank all of our firefighters who are continuing to make a difference to the lives of people at their most difficult time of need.”

Co-responding Regional Lead, EEAST, Wendy Risdale-Barrs said: “The latest figures are a testament to the excellent blue light collaborative work in Essex, and long may it continue. I would like to thank everyone for getting behind the scheme since day one which has made a significant impact on the lives of many.

“This partnership highlights our willingness to look after the people of Essex; we welcome more collaborative work in the future.”

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