Co-responding trial extends to St Neots - Huntingdonshire

Firefighters from St Neots will be joining the life-saving co-responding trial partnership with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST).

From today (Thursday December 1) crews will be called, along with ambulance staff, to assist residents in cardiac arrest. They will attend these calls in a fire engine that has been equipped with additional life-saving equipment.

On-call Watch Commander Rob Robinson said: “We are pleased to be joining the co-responding trial. The crew has received additional training to ensure, when called upon, we can provide potentially life-saving care to residents in cardiac arrest.

“It is important for residents to be aware that, if they call 999 to report a cardiac arrest, it may well be us that arrive in a fire engine. Although this may seem unusual, we do have the skills and the equipment to provide this vital care when it is most needed.”

Wholetime Watch Commander Jon-Paul Jones added: “We already work closely with the ambulance crews when we attend incidents together, and this trial will hopefully allow us to forge stronger links to serve the local community of St Neots.”

St Neots Fire Station is the third station to join the trial in Cambridgeshire, following crews from March and Ramsey, who have been co-responding since May. These on-call stations respond to calls to cardiac arrests using special response cars as well as fire engines.

Both the wholetime and on-call firefighters from St Neots will be available to respond to calls to cardiac arrest patients.

Wendy Risdale-Barrs, Blue Light Collaboration Regional Lead for EEAST said: “We are delighted that more firefighters in Cambridgeshire are taking part in the co-response scheme.

“When someone is in cardiac arrest, every second counts. Firefighters are trained to do CPR and use a defibrillator, which can resuscitate a patient who is not breathing. There has been a positive response to the pilot and it is helping to save lives.”