Fire co-responding trial launching for cardiac arrests

Ambulance and fire services

Next week will see the launch of a new co-responding pilot with the fire service that will bolster our response to our most seriously ill patients.

The scheme, which is running in designated areas across the region, will begin roll-out next week and allow us to dispatch the fire service as a response to Red 1 cardiac arrest calls.

Chief Executive Robert Morton said: “Best practice shows that, in those critical early stages of cardiac arrest, having many responders on scene as quickly as possible is of huge benefit.

“The fire service will be dispatched in addition to, not instead of, our own resources, and at this stage to our Red 1 cardiac arrest calls only.

“Fully trained in basic life support, they will help in providing good quality CPR and care to that patient when they most need it.”

The co-responders will be able to provide ongoing support during the incident, under direction from the most senior ambulance clinician on scene. They will only be sent to patients aged eight and over, and deployed alongside our community first responders.

Essex will be kicking things off with the go-live set for Monday (9th May). Other counties will follow over the coming weeks and months – and we’ll keep you posted about dates here on Need to Know.

An EOC instruction will be issued to our control centre teams shortly, with full information on dispatch and mobilisation processes.

The planned co-responding areas are:

  • Essex: Newport, Coggeshall, Ongar, Colchester, Basildon, and Frinton
  • Bedfordshire: Biggleswade and Leighton Buzzard
  • Hertfordshire: Stevenage and Watford
  • Cambridgeshire: March and Ramsey
  • Norfolk: Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Kings Lynn, Sheringham, North Walsham and three in Norwich
  • Suffolk: Felixstowe, Haverhill, Lowestoft, and Sudbury/Long Melford

The trial will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to measure its success and the benefit it has on patient outcomes.

Published 5th May, 2016

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