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25 August 2015
Firefighters have been brought into help ambulance crews in a new trial launched by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service over the last year.
Firefighters specially trained in basic emergency care have been using three ambulances to attend patients while waiting for specialist emergency services.
The Independent reports that patients attended by the fire ambulances have arrived at hospital between 20 and 40 minutes quicker, freeing up 600 hours of extra time for ambulances.
During the trial, fire ambulances are dispatched if it is the nearest potential responder to a red one or red two emergency, accompanied by a paramedic.
Steve Pratten, community response manager at EMAS, told The Independent that the scheme had attracted interest from fire and ambulance services throughout the UK.
“This is really about getting to patients really quickly, which in a rural county like Lincolnshire we struggle to do. We can’t have an ambulance in every town, every village,” he said.