The ambulance co-responder scheme run by Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service in partnership with South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has been short listed as one of four finalists in the Strategic Risk category of the 2014 annual awards organised by public risk management association Alarm.
The prestigious award recognises innovation and excellence in public service risk management.
The Co-responders are specially-trained fire fighters who are dispatched by South Central Ambulance Service’s Emergency Operations Centre to a range of medical emergencies to provide life-saving treatment and care to patients before an ambulance arrives on scene.
Co-responders do not replace emergency ambulances but can give early medical treatment until an ambulance arrives.
The Co-responder service is currently being trialled in the Amersham, Chesham, High Wycombe and Marlow areas however it has been running in the area served by Great Missenden Fire Station since June 2011.
In the past three months alone firefighters from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service have attended almost 600 medical emergencies as well as more than 1,500 fire and rescue incidents.
Fire fighters who operate the Co-responder service use a purpose-built co-responder car supplied by South Central Ambulance Service so the availability of fire engines is not affected.