Derbyshire firefighters set to provide medical care
Firefighters in Staveley, Dronfield and Matlock are to act as Emergency First Responders (EFRs) and provide medical care in a new pilot scheme.
The six-month scheme will see East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) working together to save more lives.
Firefighters, who already receive a high level of professional training in relation to trauma care as part of their role, have had further support from EMAS to enable them to act as EFRs.
The EFRs will be equipped with a kit including oxygen and an automated external defibrillator to help patients in a medical emergency such as when they have suffered a heart attack.
Michael Barnett-Connolly, EMAS head of community response, said: “EMAS receives a new 999 call every 43 seconds. In an emergency seconds count.
“During this innovative pilot scheme, an EFR will be dispatched at the same time as an ambulance and will not replace the usual emergency medical response from EMAS.
“Their location within local communities could mean an EFR is nearer to the scene in those first critical seconds and minutes of the emergency, delivering life-saving care until an ambulance clinician arrives.”
Joy Smith, acting chief executive of DFRS, added: “A number of our on-call firefighters have received extensive training and are ready to start responding to medical emergencies as EFRs within the communities they serve. This will not affect the fire and rescue service’s ability to respond to its own 999 calls.
“With our professional firefighters being based in the immediate vicinity of the emergency, EFRs can arrive quickly and start life-saving treatment while our ambulance colleagues travel to the scene to provide specialist medical care.”