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Objective 7 - Fire Medical Response.

Where are we now?
Co-responding is a scheme created in collaboration with the Ambulance Trust whereby, Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) personnel provide an initial response to the most serious categories of medical emergencies (red calls).  Mid and West Wales Fire & Rescue Service began co-responding in 1998. The first station to provide this service was Reynoldston on the Gower Peninsular. Since that time the number of participating stations has grown to 21.

In addition, as a life - saving organisation, fire-fighters can be called upon to respond to a wide range of scenarios in the normal course of their duties, during which they may have contact with someone who has or may go into cardiac arrest. This is not confined to co-responder calls, but can also include the type of incident normally associated with the role of the FRS such as fires, road traffic collisions and a wide range of other accidents and emergencies. In addition, the remote and isolated nature of the communities of MWWFRS means that FRS resources are often able to reach the scene of an incident before an ambulance. 

Therefore, during 2016 all front-line pumping appliances across the Service area were equipped with Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s). These assets were made available to WAST to provide the initial response to incidents of cardiac arrest which has resulted in casualties receiving treatment sooner than if they had to wait for an ambulance. 
What are we planning to do and why?

We will:

  • ​Further collaborate with WAST to introduce additional co-responder units at locations where this provision will potentially improve the outcome for casualties through quicker medical intervention.
  • Ensure our staff have the appropriate level of skills and knowledge to enable them to achieve the best possible outcomes for casualties.
  • Provide our staff with the best equipment, training and personal protection, to ensure their safety and welfare at incidents.
  • Further develop and strengthen mental well-being arrangements to support and protect staff responding to medical emergencies.
  • Develop common data standards and improve data sharing between WAST and MWWFRS to improve performance management and standards and to assist in measuring outcomes.
  • Further integrate the medical response role into the normal business of MAWWFRS to improve day to day management and administration of the role.
How and when are we going to deliver this?
Throughout 2018/19 we will:

  • ​Actively engage with WAST to identify where the provision of further FRS co-responder teams can help reduce the time taken to deliver emergency medical treatment to casualties/patients and introduce new schemes accordingly.
  • Work closely with WAST to identify and deliver the requisite level of training to ensure co-responder/medical response crews can maximise their potential to save and preserve life at medical emergencies.
  • Monitor and review medical response activities and respond to lessons learnt to ensure crews are appropriately prepared, equipped and protected whilst undertaking their role.
  • Actively engage with staff to monitor potential impact of medical calls on well-being and the effectiveness of the Services mental well-being arrangements; and identify and implement improvements and additional measures as necessary.
  • Work with WAST to develop a protocol for the sharing of data and information.
  • Engage with command based response managers to highlight their role in managing the day to day activities of co-responder teams and devolve responsibility for the effective performance of co responders to the operational commands.
How will we measure success?

  • ​Monitor and disseminate the outcomes of reviews, investigations and debriefs.
  • Collect performance management data.
  • Collect evidence of operational incident outcomes and exercises captured through the Operational Support and Review system.
  • Regular performance meetings with WAST.
  • Improved performance outcomes for WAST. 

What will this mean to you?
  • The health and well-being of people living in our communities will improve as a result of them being able to benefit from faster access to medical intervention. 
  • Operational crews will be better trained and equipped to deal with medical emergencies. There will be a greater role for the Fire and Rescue Service in protecting people and communities. 
Which Well-being goals does this objective align to?