Fire service out on more medical calls

Graham Pike, the crew manager at Wickham Fire Station, Wickham, pictured in 2011 ''He is a trained co-responder
Graham Pike, the crew manager at Wickham Fire Station, Wickham, pictured in 2011 ''He is a trained co-responder

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FIREFIGHTERS are playing a bigger role when it comes to going out to medical emergencies.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s co-responders work in partnership with South Central Ambulance Service (Scas). The scheme sees retained firefighters from 19 retained station respond to medical emergencies.

This includes a person going into cardiac arrest.

The fire service said it has seen an increase in co-responding calls. It went to about 10,000 in Hampshire last year, and is keen to extend the service.

In 2011-12, Emsworth went to 184 medical callouts, but in 2013-14, this rose to 323.

Horndean has gone from 701 calls in 2011-12, to 819 in 2012-13, to 718 calls in 2013-14.

Petersfield has gone from 283, in 2011-12, to 335, in 2013-14.

And Portchester, which only started last year, had 466 callouts in the first 12 months. The biggest rise has been in Wickham, which had 345 calls in 2011-12 and 723 in 2013-14.

Sue Byrne, chief operating officer for Scas, said: ‘We are proud of the service.

‘It provides medical help much more quickly than we can in some cases.’