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A new six-month pilot scheme will see East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and the Fire and Rescue Services based in the region work together to save more lives.

Demand on the Ambulance Service is increasing by approximately 6% year on year, yet thanks to successful better electrical product safety, public education and safety campaigns, ‘traditional’ demand on the Fire Service is reducing.

EMAS Head of Community Response, Michael Barnett-Connolly said:

“EMAS receives a new 999 call every 43 seconds, and in an emergency seconds count.

“During this innovative pilot scheme, an Emergency First Responder (EFR) will be dispatched at the same time as an ambulance. This will not replace the usual emergency medical response from EMAS however, as with our Community First Responders, their location within local communities could mean the EFR is nearer to the scene and can deliver lifesaving care in those first critical minutes of the emergency until an ambulance clinician arrives.”

EMAS has trained each EFR to enhance their existing medical care knowledge, including basic life support, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and oxygen therapy. The EFRs are equipped with a kit which includes oxygen and an automated external defibrillator (AED) to help patients in a medical emergency such as a heart attack, collapse or breathing difficulties.

The scheme officially launches in June 2015 when all six East Midlands based Fire and Rescue Services (Derbyshire, Humberside, Leicestershire & Rutland, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire) have gone live with the pilot.

Pictured is HFRS lead GM Paul McCourt and emergency first responders with EMAS Community Response Manager Steve Pratten at the launch of the pilot scheme at Crowle Fire Station.

North Lincolnshire stations taking part in the trial are Epworth, Crowle, Winterton and Kirton in Lindsey.

Latest figures published nationally show that just over 21% of patients who suffered a cardiac arrest in the East Midlands arrived at hospital with a pulse. The clear ambition of this pilot is to improve the survival rate for those people who suffer from a life-threatening illness or injury in the community.

The pilot will be monitored on a daily basis and evaluated in December 2015 by all parties to ensure it remains an effective scheme offering a level of quality patient care in the local community.

Chief Fire Officer, Dene Sanders at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said:

“Our fire fighters have received exceptional training from East Midlands Ambulance Service and are looking forward to offering their assistance to patients through the scheme.

“The overriding aim of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is to protect our communities and reach and save those in danger who are in need of our help as quickly as possible. This joined-up approach can only enhance the service we provide and will improve patient outcomes across Northern Lincolnshire.”

​Michael closed by saying:

At EMAS we are already supported by Community First Responder volunteers who work tremendously hard and do a fantastic job in their local areas. The addition of EFRs will further strengthen our response in these communities and the two models will work side-by-side to save more lives.”