New life-saving role for firefighters in Hemel and Tring

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Firefighters could be first on the scene if someone calls 999 for an ambulance as part of a scheme to improve survival rates for patients in cardiac arrest in the region.

Hemel and Tring fire stations have joined the scheme, which has been running in Watford and Stevenage since the summer. Firefighters have been given extra training and equipment so they can start life-saving CPR before an ambulance arrives.

The scheme began because successfully treating cardiac arrest patients greatly depends on getting help as quickly as possible.

Richard Thake, cabinet member for community safety at County Hall, said: “Our firefighters are trained to provide immediate emergency care and already carry trauma kits and defibrillators on the fire engines. It makes sense for them to use these life-saving skills in situations where they can get to a patient more quickly.”

Bosses say this will not affect the fire service’s ability to attend fires, road traffic collisions and other serious incidents.