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Stocksbridge fire crews take on medical emergencies

  • 10-22-2015

Fire crews in South Yorkshire have been asked to respond to medical emergencies.

Stocksbridge fire fighters are first to take part in the the Emergency First Responder (EFR) scheme with Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

They will perform basic first aid, resuscitation and oxygen therapy in an emergency.

The fire service said the scheme would not replace the usual emergency medical response, or impact on fire cover.

Other places in the country already carrying out the scheme include Lancashire which began in March.

South Yorkshire Fire Service said fire service EFRs would deliver "life-saving care in the first critical minutes of a medical emergency", helping people suffering from heart attack and breathing difficulties.

"The location [of fire crews] within the local community could mean they are nearer to the scene, delivering life-saving care until an ambulance arrives," a fire service spokesperson said.

'Will not replace ambulances'

The EFR will be despatched in a car at the same time as an ambulance but only when staffing levels at their fire station allow.

Phil Shillito, of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: "Our firefighters already do a great job of performing a wide range of duties beyond traditional fire fighting, from attending flooding incidents to rescuing people from road traffic collisions.

"It's only natural for us to look for other ways to support the work of other local bodies, like the ambulance service.

"This partnership can only enhance our service, and will improve outcomes for people in need across South Yorkshire."

The Fire Brigades Union has not commented on the scheme.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2015 BBC

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