Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) will work more closely together to respond to serious emergencies as part of a new pilot.
Firefighters in Lincolnshire have started the 12-month pilot for the Joint Ambulance Conveyance Project (JACP) in Long Sutton.
The project aims to improve service and outcomes for patients by developing a complementary approach to ambulance provision in the county, and is run in partnership with EMAS and the first responders, LIVES.
Firefighters presently run a co-responder scheme where on-call firefighters from 21 stations will respond to medical emergencies too. They can do first aid, provide oxygen therapy and administer defibrillation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Now, as part of the pilot, Long Sutton’s co-responders will attend medical incidents in an ambulance vehicle. At the same time, an EMAS paramedic will respond in a fast response vehicle.
If the paramedic decides the patient needs to go to hospital, co-responders can now take them rather than having to wait for an ambulance.
Richard King, Watch Manager at Long Sutton, said: “The crew are fully on board with this pilot.
“By getting a patient to a hospital faster, we can really help those who are in a life threatening condition and increase their chance of survival.
“We have received additional medical training in preparation for the pilot which has further developed our skills. These can potentially be applied at every incident we attend.”
Steve Pratten, Community Response Manager for EMAS, added: “I have every confidence that this joint initiative will be a success. We will be closely monitoring the progress of the pilot and ensuring any lessons learned are fed back as appropriate.”
Nick Borrill, Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, commented: “We are now in the position to start testing the concept and are confident it will help improve outcomes for patients in Lincolnshire.
“The pilot will be run in three areas and we anticipate that it will start in Woodhall Spa next month and in Stamford by early November.”