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More firefighters responding to cardiac arrest


Due to the success of the 'co-responder' scheme in rural parts of the county, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) will respond to cardiac arrest incidents in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud.

Responding to heart attack victims as quickly as possible is essential and in some cases GFRS is closer to the location of the victim and can get there before an ambulance to provide life saving care.

Ambulance crews will still be sent to all call outs, but fire crews may provide CPR sooner, before the arrival of paramedics if it is needed.

Armed with the latest defibrillators and newly trained firefighters, this initiative allows GFRS to work in partnership with South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and save more lives.

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire and infrastructure at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "Speed of response for cardiac arrest incidents is essential and there will be occasions when fire crews are the closest emergency resource.

"The scheme will not affect the number of calls that SWASFT deals with and will not affect firefighters from doing their job."

Stewart Edgar, chief fire officer and operations director for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This is a great example of closer collaboration between emergency services which will lead to lives being saved. The scheme is working well in rural areas of the county so I'm confident it will be a success in the county's urban areas as well."

SWASFT Chief Executive, Ken Wenman, said: "Just a few seconds can make all the difference when it comes to saving someone's life so I have no doubt that this collaboration between SWASFT and GFRS, not only appropriately makes use of available staff and resources, but will help deliver even better care to the people of Gloucestershire."

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