The scheme involves Wokingham crews working alongside South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) by providing a ‘first response’ to specific medical emergencies such as cardiac arrests, heart attacks and strokes, in advance of an ambulance arriving on scene. The crews at Wokingham have received life support training from SCAS instructors and the necessary medical equipment has been stowed on the appliance.
According to RBFRS "the trial has been very successful, with crews averaging around three co-responding calls per day". Crews will remain primarily available to respond to fire and rescue emergencies but, at the same time, SCAS will be able to mobilise them to medical emergencies when needed.
The pilot scheme at Wokingham will run until the end of June 2016 as part of a programme of national trials, which are intended to test the extent to which services to the public can be improved by emergency responders in the fire and rescue service supporting our colleagues in the ambulance service.
Pictured: (Back row l-r) Cllr Angus Ross, Member of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority; Jack Ansell; Cllr Colin Dudley, Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority; FF Joseph Leaver; WM Clive Williams; Cllr Pauline Helliar-Symons, Vice-Chair of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority; Chief Fire Officer Andy Fry; FF Ian Lamb; Mark Ainsworth (Front row l-r) Station Manager Luke Coleman; FF Jenny Mitchell; FF Scott Butler; and Group Manager Neil Carter