Surrey co-responding scheme trial set to begin
Firefighters in several areas of Surrey are to respond to life-threatening medical emergencies in a pilot scheme.
From 28 September, the firefighters will respond to life-threatening emergencies such as cardiac arrests, chest pains and breathing difficulties.
They will attend in fire engines or in fire service cars, and will be assigned at the same time as ambulance crews.
Similar schemes are also being trialled elsewhere in England, including in Lincolnshire and Buckinghamshire.
The pilot scheme, which runs until April 2016, will operate in Leatherhead, Reigate, Farnham, Horley, Chobham, Redhill, Cranleigh and Caterham before being rolled-out to other areas over the coming weeks.
The firefighters have undertaken "immediate emergency care responder training" developed by the South East Coast Ambulance Service, and will be able to treat patients in the moments before paramedics arrive.
The co-responding scheme will mean there will be up to an extra 100 defibrillators available for use across Surrey.