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20 May 2015
Firefighters from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service are being called upon to help ambulance crews by performing life savings tasks such as gaining entry to locked properties in emergencies.
Firefighters have also been equipped with defibrillators and training so that in the event of a medical emergency, they can administer care before ambulance crews arrive on the scene.
The initiative is part of a combined effort in the county to maximise resources across emergency services.
The initiative is designed to free up resources in other emergency services, such as the police force, who are typically tasked with gaining entry.
The expertise of firefighters in gaining entry to buildings and the specialist equipment they carry means they can carry out the task with minimal damage.
Russell Pearson, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “We have always been able to undertake this role but are delighted to do so on a more regular basis.
“It allows us to provide timely assistance to those in need within the community and support our blue light colleagues, which is beneficial to all. Furthermore, arrangements are in place to ensure that we continue to respond effectively to other incidents affecting life or property when they arise.”