Safest People, Safest Places

Firefighters commended for life-saving actions

Chief fire officer's commendation presentation

Firefighters from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS), whose quick response was credited with saving a man’s life, were commended for their actions on Thursday 9 February.

Members of Darlington Fire Station’s green watch were presented with Chief Fire Officer commendations at CDDFRS headquarters. Crew manager Stephen Dry, firefighter Nick Meek, firefighter Luke Wearmouth and firefighter David Parker were congratulated by colleagues, members of the Combined Fire Authority and representatives from North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) as part of the event.

CDDFRS area manager Keith Wanley said: “The crew was awarded the CFO commendation in recognition of their excellent team work at an Emergency Medical Response incident in June 2016. Thanks to their quick response and actions to manage a seriously injured patient as well as their ability to make difficult decisions under the most challenging of circumstances, the patient’s life was saved.”

In June last year, green watch Darlington responded to a 999 call at the request of NEAS as part of the EMR collaborative working trial. The crew arrived at the scene in under four minutes.

CFO Stuart Errington said: “Green watch Darlington used their professional judgement, quick thinking and excellent teamwork to save the life of this man. These commendations are well-deserved, as is the special recognition they have received from fellow firefighters, members of the fire authority and our partners in the ambulance service. We are pleased to be working closely with NEAS as part of the EMR trial, which has been a great success over the past year.”

Ends

Notes to editors

The Emergency Medical Response trial began in January 2016 and will run until the end of February 2017.

The trial sees fire services across the region joining forces with North East Ambulance Service to respond to medical emergencies where they can be at the scene before an ambulance arrives in a bid to save more lives.

To date, as part of the EMR trial, CDDFRS has attended a total of 3382 incidents as a result of 999 calls.

Emergency Medical Response units in the form of fire appliances deliver emergency medical services when requested by NEAS. An emergency ambulance will be dispatched at the same time.

Emergency Medical Responders have been trained to enhance their existing medical care knowledge, including basic life support by managing a patient’s airway, giving oxygen therapy, including assisted ventilation, delivering cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation using a semi-automatic automated external defibrillator (AED) and controlling blood loss.

The EMR’s are equipped with a kit which includes oxygen and an AED to help patients in a medical emergency such as a heart attack, collapse or breathing difficulties.

The EMRs are not a replacement for ambulance clinicians. NEAS has been running a recruitment campaign throughout the year for new paramedics alongside the development of existing ambulance technicians and recruitment of additional emergency care assistants to the service. 

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