NEAS & firefighters join forces for life saving pilot in Cleveland
Venture provides extra cover - existing ambulance provision remains in place
A pilot scheme to improve response to medical emergencies has
been launched by the North East Ambulance Service and County Durham
and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.
Both organisations have been working together to set up the
collaborative co-responding trial in the Dales area of County
Durham, which started on 1 July and will run until March 2015.
Firefighters from Middleton-in-Teesdale have received special
training from NEAS to respond to a limited range of medical
emergencies. This includes helping people who have chest pains,
breathing problems and cardiac arrests.
These specially trained firefighters will help the community by
not only ensuring cover for fires, road traffic accidents, flooding
and other emergencies but by also providing rapid medical treatment
to people living in western rural areas of County Durham.
Gareth Campbell, operations manager for North East Ambulance
Service, said: "NEAS welcomes the assistance offered from our
colleagues within County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue
Service. It is anticipated that the trial will complement the
extensive efforts of NEAS to provide prompt and first rate patient
care in the event of a medical emergency."
Keith Wanley, area manager for County Durham and Darlington Fire
and Rescue Service, said: "All firefighters have extensive training
in providing emergency care. This is just an extension to an
existing role but one that will save even more lives. Following a
heart attack, every minute counts. Early stabilisation and
defibrillation can mean the difference between life and death. We
are pleased to be providing this service to the public and valuable
assistance to our colleagues in the North East Ambulance
The trial will also be extended to Stanhope Station within the
coming months; retained firefighters are currently undergoing
training with NEAS.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service will
respond using four wheel drive vehicles and will be mobilised at
the same time as an ambulance from NEAS. The fire service is
providing a supporting role to NEAS and will only be called on when
its firefighters are able to attend an incident quicker than NEAS
due to logistics.
The trial will not involve County Durham and Darlington Fire and
Rescue Service providing patient transport; the arrangements in
place are purely to ensure that early intervention is made when
there is a medical emergency.