Partnership scheme celebrated one year on

Essex co-responding schemeThe life-saving partnership between ambulance staff and fire and rescue service colleagues in Essex is celebrating its first anniversary this week.

The pilot launched on 9 May last year and is a collaborative scheme between the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS). It was the first of its kind in the region and involves fire crews being sent to cardiac arrests and started with response cars from Ongar, Newport, and Coggeshall fire stations. It later expanded to Colchester, Basildon and Frinton fire stations.

The latest figures published by EEAST have revealed that ECFRS have responded to more than 2000 calls across the county, which has been commended by bosses at both services.

Co-responding Regional Lead Wendy Risdale-Barrs said, “The latest figures are a testament to the excellent blue light collaborative work in Essex, and long may it continue. I would like to thank everyone for getting behind the scheme since day one, which has made a significant impact on the lives of many. This partnership highlights our willingness to look after the people of Essex; we welcome more collaborative work in the future.”

Firefighters are already trained in basic life support and are equipped with defibrillators with the trust supporting training for firefighters should it be required.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said, “The co-responding scheme has proven to be a great success over the past year. We have attended hundreds of incidents with EEAST and helped give life-saving care. Our firefighters are already located in the heart of our communities which mean we can respond quickly giving patients a greater chance of survival.”