Award for firefighters' emergency medical assistance scheme

Jason Thelwell, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Chief Operating Officer, and Steve West, South Central Ambulance Services Operations Director

Jason Thelwell, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Chief Operating Officer, and Steve West, South Central Ambulance Services Operations Director

First published in News

A FIRE service has won a prestigious award for its work in sending firefighters to rush to the scene of medical emergancies to provide vital care before an ambulance can arrive on the scene.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue was selected at a ceremony from a shortlist of four nominations in the Strategic Risk category of the annual awards organised by public risk management association Alarm.

The nomination - for innovation and excellence in public service risk management - came in recognition of the ambulance co-responder scheme currently being run in partnership with South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

Co-responders are specially-trained firefighters who are dispatched by South Central Ambulance Service’s Emergency Operations Centre to a range of medical emergencies to provide life-saving treatment ahead of paramedics.

The co-responders do not replace emergency ambulances, but can give early medical treatment until an ambulance arrives.

Co-responding has been running in the area served by Great Missenden Fire Station since June 2011, and is now being trialled at Amersham/Chesham, High Wycombe and Marlow.

In the past four months, firefighters from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service have attended almost 700 medical emergencies, as well as nearly 2,000 fire and rescue incidents.

The fire service says the availability of fire engines is not affected, as firefighters use a purpose-built co-responder car supplied by South Central Ambulance Service.

Speaking before this evening's award ceremony in Manchester, Chief Operating Officer Jason Thelwell said: "We are committed to making Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes the safest places in England in which to live, work and travel.

"By engaging in schemes such as co-responding, and collaborating with our partner agencies through innovative approaches to managing and reducing risk, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service and its staff are demonstrating their commitment to achieving this vision.

"To be shortlisted for this award highlights the importance of what we are aiming to achieve, and gives real recognition to those who are making the scheme a success."

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:53pm Sun 6 Jul 14

11df4c06@opayq.com says...

Why have firefighters had to attend 700 medical emergencies? Why hasn't the emergency ambulances arrived first?

Is it because the South Central Ambulance Service is covering an area from Milton Keynes to Southampton and it would appear that is not fit for purpose?

Firefighters are generally quite hunky, but that apart, I would want an ambulance in an emergency as it would be better equiped than a fire engine.
Why have firefighters had to attend 700 medical emergencies? Why hasn't the emergency ambulances arrived first? Is it because the South Central Ambulance Service is covering an area from Milton Keynes to Southampton and it would appear that is not fit for purpose? Firefighters are generally quite hunky, but that apart, I would want an ambulance in an emergency as it would be better equiped than a fire engine. 11df4c06@opayq.com
  • Score: 1

8:37am Mon 7 Jul 14

ThePedant says...

I have to agree entirely with the first comment.

What I'd like to know is why the fire service have become involved in this at all. The is clearly an admission by SCAS that they simply can not cope.

Or maybe they're trying to move to the American system where firefighters are the de facto first responders. That, in itself, isn't a bad thing but SCAS really just need to put their hands up and admit to their shortcomings.

Of course, it's not really SCAS' fault. It's the good ol' cut-backs as usual.
I have to agree entirely with the first comment. What I'd like to know is why the fire service have become involved in this at all. The is clearly an admission by SCAS that they simply can not cope. Or maybe they're trying to move to the American system where firefighters are the de facto first responders. That, in itself, isn't a bad thing but SCAS really just need to put their hands up and admit to their shortcomings. Of course, it's not really SCAS' fault. It's the good ol' cut-backs as usual. ThePedant
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree