Guernsey firefighters to become 'first responders'

Life-saving first aid could be delivered more quickly in Guernsey in a new move involving the island's fire and ambulance services.

Jon Le Page, chief fire officer, said firefighters already had the training and life-saving equipment to help.

He said: "By using trained firefighters to respond to life-saving 999 calls in shorter periods of time, we are giving islanders the best possible chance."

The scheme aims to work alongside voluntary community "first responders".

Community first responders are alerted when a category A, life-threatening 999 call is made. They aim to reach the scene, with a defibrillator and basic life support skills, ahead of an ambulance.

Medical research demonstrates that a casualty who suffers a cardiac arrest has a much better chance of survival if a trained person with a defibrillator arrives in the first few minutes of collapse, according to spokesmen for both services.

Jon Beausire, chief ambulance officer, said: "Whilst an ambulance will always immediately respond to the call, there is always the possibility that the fire service or another trained first responder will be closer to the incident."

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