Emergency first responder trial for firefighters is hailed a success

The year-long trial saw firefighters act as emergency first responders.
The year-long trial saw firefighters act as emergency first responders.

A pilot scheme that has seen firefighters act as emergency first responders has been hailed a success.

Retained firefighters from Lythe, Helmsley and Pickering have now responded to more than 150 life-threatening emergencies, between April 1, 2016, and March 31 this year.

The joint venture between Yorkshire Ambulance Service and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service means emergency first responders are dispatched at the same time as ambulances.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “Their location within local communities often means they are nearer to the scene in those first critical minutes of a medical emergency, delivering life-saving care until an ambulance clinician arrives.

“Each EFR has been trained in basic life support, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and oxygen

therapy.

“They are equipped with a kit which includes oxygen and an automated external defibrillator (AED) to help patients in a medical emergency such as a heart attack, collapse or breathing difficulties.”

The scheme was launched in January 2016 following its introduction in the Humberside area, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

A recent review of the scheme, shows that the Emergency First Responders in North Yorkshire have attended 28 instances of breathing difficulties, four cardiac arrests, and 35 instances of chest pain along with a number of other incident types.

The spokesman added that a recent incident saw a first responder from Pickering called to Norton, Malton, and arrived on scene in minutes.

Crews set about administering CPR to an elderly male who had suffered a heart attack.

The live-saving treatment resulted in the patient’s heart restarting before paramedics took over to administer drugs.