24 October 2016
Five fire stations in Suffolk will take part in a new blue light collaboration scheme with the local ambulance service, which will see fire crews responding to medical emergencies.
The scheme involves Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), who will provide a total of nine appliances for the trial alongside the local ambulance service, which runs until February 2017.
Firefighters, along with paramedics and community first responders, will be deployed to cardiac arrest incidents to provide potentially lifesaving interventions.
SFRS crews are already trained in providing lifesaving treatment, with appliances already carrying defibrillators and trauma bags, but have received additional training from EEAST.
They have also been provided with additional lifesaving equipment to ensure patients receive a consistent level of treatment from all responders attending cardiac arrests.
Dan Fearn, assistant chief fire officer, said: “The scheme is part of a national trial and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is positive and ambitious about continuing our collaboration journey with blue light partners in the county in order to ensure we are doing all that we can to protect and assist the communities of Suffolk when in need.
“We have fantastic departments and teams right across the service and this trial will see crews utilising, in many cases, years of operational experience and expertise in dealing with life critical incidents.”
Cllr Matthew Hicks, Suffolk’s County Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection said: “The multi-agency project team, comprising of Blue Light responders, representative bodies and service specialists have engaged fully with the concept of co-responding, and it is great to see Suffolk continuing with its track record of improvement, innovation and collaboration.”
Wendy Risdale-Barrs, regional Blue Light collaboration lead, said: “Building on the collaborative work already undertaken through community first response (CFR), public access defibrillation and RAF co-response schemes, we also believe co-response schemes can add significantly to our ability to respond to patients quickly and start basic life support.
“We know that the quicker someone starts CPR and gets a defibrillator to a patient in cardiac arrest the better chance they have of surviving.”