On Friday, 20th January 2017, Mid and West Wales
Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) ran a press event to promote their
collaborative partnership with the Welsh Ambulance Service and the Cariad charity
to provide Co-Responder and Defibrillator capability.
For many years, Mid and West
Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the Welsh Ambulance Service have been
involved in a joint Co-Responding scheme, that aims to provide the earliest
possible response to life-threatening medical emergencies. The first
co-responder scheme was introduced in 1998 at Reynoldston Fire Station.
Following its success, 18 further locations across mid and west Wales have
become co-responder stations with at least a further six stations due to join
Since the introduction of the
scheme in 1998, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has attended 22,297 medical emergencies. In 2016 alone, many lives have been saved through
The success of the Co Responder
scheme has promoted a further initiative whereby Mid and West Wales Fire and
Rescue Service is equipping all front line fire appliances with automatic
defibrillators. Working with the charity Cariad, 78 appliances now have
defibrillators on board.
Anthony Hamilton, from the Cariad
“The Cariad charity provides
lifesaving training and defibrillators to schools and communities across Wales.
We are delighted to be working closely with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue
Service, providing the Zoll AED Plus defibrillator and training to front line appliances
“Shocks from an Automated
External Defibrillator should be delivered in less than 4 minutes from collapse
to be most effective. It stands to reason that the more defibrillators there
are within the communities of Wales, the better the chances of someone
recovering from cardiac arrest will be. Placing this equipment on Mid and West
Wales Fire and Rescue Service appliances will mean that Fire Service personnel
will now be in a position to offer lifesaving resources to the public when best
situated to do so.
"We would like to thank Mid
and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the Welsh Ambulance Service for the
commitment and support they have given to Cariad. It is clear to see how this
project has and will continue to help save lives within our communities.”
Rob Quin, Assistant Chief Fire
Officer at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, added:
“As the role of the Fire Service
diversifies and evolves to cater to a wide range of scenarios, so too must our
ability to respond to them. While we continue to work closely with our fellow
emergency services, our central placement within communities often means that
we can get to the scene first and are required to respond to casualties with
medical conditions, such as cardiac arrest.
“Primary responsibility for responding to
medical emergencies lies with the Ambulance Service, these initiatives in no
way replace these services, but rather enhance them in a practical way by
making good use of medically trained and suitably equipped firefighters, who
are often closer to the scene of an incident than Ambulance crews. Whilst
firefighters will provide an initial response to certain categories of call,
Ambulance crews will also be mobilised to these calls, taking over from the firefighters
when they arrive".
Stephen Roberts, First Responder
Officer at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said:
“Our colleagues at Mid and West
Wales Fire and Rescue Service play an important role alongside frontline
ambulance staff in making sure patients get appropriate help quickly and
efficiently, and they’re very much part of the Welsh Ambulance Service family.
Every second counts in an emergency and the fact that all fire appliances in
Mid and West Wales now carry a defibrillator means we are able to give people
the absolute best chance of survival.”