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Fire chiefs urge FBU to support emergency response trials

31 July 2017

THE NATIONAL Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has expressed its disappointment with the Fire Brigades Union’s (FBU) decision to withdraw from the Emergency Medical Response trials.

The NFCC says the participation of firefighters in Emergency Medical Response has enhanced the professional reputation of the fire and rescue service within communities, and has proven beyond any doubt to save lives and prevent unnecessary long-term illness.

A spokesman for the Council said: “The NFCC understands the concerns of the FBU over ongoing pay restraint. However, we do not believe ceasing participation in Emergency Medical Response in any way advances the arguments of the FBU over pay.

“The NFCC strongly urges the FBU to reconsider this decision. The trial also reaffirmed the trust and confidence the public has in the fire service and the wider work they do.”

From September 2015, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) were dispatched in parallel with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) when someone suffered a suspected cardiac arrest and whoever reaches the casualty first proceeded to provide life-saving treatment.

This shortened the response time between the call for emergency services and supports ambulance crews to undertake advanced clinical work on the scene, while GMFRS provide support capacity. Analysis by New Economy found that the return on investment for this initiative over five years would be likely to create a gross fiscal saving to the public purse of £5.2 million over five years.