Air ambulance medics learn skills for real-life rescues from fire service

Medics from Huntingdonshire-based charity Magpas Air Ambulance spent two days training with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service to learn some of the advanced rescue skills needed to help people in life-threatening situations.

The two-day training formed part of a two-week induction programme for new doctors and paramedics joining Magpas Air Ambulance. Joint training has been supported by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service for many years but this year saw stronger links forged with the training team and a development of the programme. By collaborating during training the two services gain knowledge of how the other works before they are called to real-life emergency incidents across Cambridgeshire.

Led by Watch Commander Ben Fawcitt, crews from the CFRS 

Training Centre based at Huntingdon Fire Station showed Magpas Air Ambulance team members how they extricate casualties trapped in cars and how they work in hazardous locations such as confined spaces and in, or near, water. Crews also practised working at height and firefighters from St Neots Fire Station helped familiarise the Magpas medics with procedures for working with dangerous substances and hazardous materials.

Watch Commander Fawcitt said: “Overall I believe the Training Centre staff got just as much out of the day as hopefully the Magpas staff did and although we both have extremely high standards there is always room for improvement. What was really positive was how similar their staff are to our own in terms of passion, professionalism and even sense of humour.”

Associate Clinical Director at Magpas Air Ambulance, Dan Cody, said, “It’s really important for our medics to have the insight into the capabilities of partner emergency services and the opportunity to practice these critical skills before they’re required in real emergencies. We’re very grateful for the help of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service in supporting our training.”