Sunday, 26 September 2021

Firefighters to take on other emergencies

FIREFIGHTERS in Henley are to respond to medical emergencies as well as fire-related incidents.

FIREFIGHTERS in Henley are to respond to medical emergencies as well as fire-related incidents.

The crew based at the West Street fire station has been trained to be “co-responders” under a new initiative by South Central Ambulance Service.

They have been given additional first aid training and equipped with a car fitted with sirens and blue lights containing a defibrillator, oxygen, pain relief drugs and equipment for controlling haemorrhages. Ambulance crews will still be dispatched to 999 calls but the co-responders can reach an incident sooner and provide life support until the paramedics arrive.

The ambulance service says a fast response is vital with life-threatening incidents such as heart attacks, where a patient’s odds of survival are drastically reduced with every second they go untreated.

The firefighters will work alongside Henley’s community first responders, a group of volunteers who have been trained to provide a similar intervention.

Henley crew manager Alastair Letchford said: “It doesn’t affect fire cover as that will always remain the top priority.

“Our numbers at the station have increased in recent years so we should be able to dedicate someone to the co-responder car for much of the time.

“However, we could always do with more officers and would encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch.”



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