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Firefighters should get medic role.

Byline: STEPHEN STEWART

FIREFIGHTERS should be deployed to assist ambulance crews in medical situations to help save lives, according to Scotland's fire chief.

Steven Torrie, Chief Inspector of the Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), said firefighters could play a vital medical response role in communities across the country, particularly in the quick and effective use of defibrillators to deal with cardiac arrests.

The call for a "transformational change" to Scotland's emergency services was unveiled in a new report.

Firefighters have already been responding to medical emergencies in Maud and Braemar, as part of a pilot scheme in Scotland. The report "suggested this had been "successful in demonstrating the ability of SFRS resources to respond to medical emergencies without compromising fire cover in their area".

Mr Torrie said that a shake-up of the emergency services could "save lives and improve patient "save lives and improve patient outcome."s during timecritical medical emergencies" as he suggested fire crews should respond to medical emergencies alongside paramedics.

"To achieve this will require "transformational change" the way these services work together, and I hope our report will act as a catalyst for action." catalyst for action."

He added: "Fire-based emergency medical emergency medical response would not be a response would not be a substitute for an substitute for an ambulance. Service - ambulance. Service - rather, it should rather, it shou- complement and support - complement and support that service." that service."

The Scottish government said it wou" government said it would consider the chief consider the chief Inspector's Inspector's recommendations, which "recommendations, which "also included a call for a also included a call for a "formal evaluation" of the "formal evaluation" of the pilot scheme in Maud and pilot scheme in Maud and Braemar. Braemar.

A Scottish government spokesman said: "Anything spokesman said: "Anything that might help save lives that might help save lives needs due consideration. needs due consideration. However, this will always be However, this will always be on the basis of the on the basis of the ambulance service being ambulance. Service being the primary responders, the primary responders, with the Fire Service with the Fire Service supporting where it can and supporting where it can and

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 11, 2014
Words:370
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