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Friday, 05 March 2021
FIREFIGHTERS who attend emergencies calls with paramedics are improving the outcome for patients.
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has teamed up with South Central Ambulance Service by providing firefighters to help gain access to properties.
Paramedics would have previously contacted the police to force entry if a resident was unable to open the door themselves due to illness or injury.
Following a year-long trial across Thames Valley, it was determined that using firefighters for this service resulted in quicker response times, less damage being done to the property and better outcomes for the residents in need of emergency medical attention. It is estimated to have saved the police more than 200 hours as well as saving money and giving officers more time to respond to other incidents.
During the trial, firefighters responded to 626 incidents where gaining entry was required and the average response time was nine minutes. This has allowed the ambulance service to improve response times.
Mark Ainsworth, operations director for the ambulance service, said: “In many cases, the faster the response and initiation of appropriate treatment, the more positive the outcome and the quicker the recovery time for the patient. People often need immediate medical intervention and in extreme cases, a delay can be the difference between life and death.
“We are keen to move forward in looking at ways to make this a more established way of working.”
Grahame Mitchell, deputy chief fire officer, said: “By working together, this initiative sees our firefighters helping open the door to specialist treatment and care more efficiently and more effectively than emergency services have been able to before.
“It is another example of where joint partnership working can save valuable time and could save lives, helping to deliver improved outcomes for the communities we all serve.”
18 January 2021
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