Fire crews called out for cardiac arrests

Fire crews now carry a defibrillator in their vehicles
Fire crews now carry a defibrillator in their vehicles

Borders fire and rescue crews have attended two cardiac arrest emergency calls since the start of a trial that sees them working alongside the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Since October this year retained fire crews at Coldstream, Lauder and Hawick have been part of a national ‘Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest’ trial involving the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Scottish Ambulance Service which aims to increase survival rate of patients suffering cardiac arrests, saving up to 1,000 lives.

Firefighters at these stations have received enhanced training in life-support and high quality CPR and if a crew with the training and access to a defibrillator is nearer to a potential cardiac arrest than a local Community First Responder team, then ambulance control dispatch them at the same time as the ambulance crew, so that they can provide life saving interventions while the ambulance is on its way.

A report to Berwickshire Area Forum of the call-outs for Berwickshire fire and rescue crews based at Duns, Coldstream and Eyemouth over the past three months includes the two cardiac arrest responses, as well as five fire call-outs to homes for cooker fires, an out-building fire and a caravan fire. Over the same period they also attended a field fire, hedge fire, a car alight, cables alight on open ground, road traffic accidents and a fuel spillage, plus 21 unwanted, non deliberate fire alarm signals.

Recruitment for retained firefighters continues and it was reported that since round three of the recruitment campaign launched in August, one candidate is currently being progressed for Coldstream Fire Station.