09 May 2016
Surrey firefighters will be tasked with helping paramedics as part of a new safety plan from the local council to cut costs and merge services.
Surrey County Council is aiming to save £6 million over the next five years, “without a reduction in fire service cover” through merging back office functions with neighboring fire services and reducing management tiers.
Firefighters will respond to priority medical emergencies when fire crews are able to get to the patient before an ambulance.
They will also help paramedics into peoples’ homes when they are unable to open their front doors, help those with telecare devices who report falls and develop their fire and road accident prevention work.
One Walton firefighter to the Surrey Comet that the station had been trialling the scheme for three months.
He said: “It will make us busier but we’re the fire and rescue service, it’s a good thing as long as it’s being implemented in a good way.
“Our ambulance service is already stretched beyond their capabilities.
“In terms of responding to fires, it wouldn’t have any effect at all. At the end of the day, we’re here to help.”