Firefighters have attended over 42,000 medical emergencies since co-responding trials commenced in late 2015, a University of Hertfordshire report has found.
The Broadening Responsibilities report was commissioned by the National Joint Council, a body made up of the FBU and fire service employers, and was carried out by independent researchers who were asked to investigate the impact of firefighters undertaking emergency medical response on communities across the UK.
Concluding the circular Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, writes: “Overall, the report concludes that emergency medical response is an area of work firefighters could contribute to. The case is particularly strong for Red 1 calls, where time is critical and firefighters could intervene professionally to save lives. They also acknowledge the benefits of other areas of wider work, but this has proven difficult to quantify so far. At present, fire and ambulance services do not record incidents in the same way, making definitive conclusions difficult to draw.
“Members should be aware that the report supports the FBU’s stance that national professional standards are required for training and equipment for this work – something we have argued for strongly in all areas of firefighters’ work. The report also supports the need for best practice guidance to ensure firefighters’ standard operating procedures and safety concerns are dealt with professionally.
“This report is very long, but I would encourage members to read it and discuss it on stations and in Brigade Committees. The union has to decide on the next steps to take over emergency medical response and we therefore need every member to make their views known.”
A recall of the union’s conference was announced earlier this month to discuss the trials. It will take place in Blackpool on 21 March.