Two new firefighter-driven ambulances were used in Wiltshire for the first time yesterday.
South Western Ambulance Service invested in the additional vehicles or the collaboration with the fire service to help relieve pressure on paramedics during the coronavirus outbreak.
Not only will fire service personnel drive paramedics to emergencies in the Swindon and Salisbury areas, but they will provide first aid at the scene of medical incidents too.
Firefighters are supporting the ambulance service at a time when they are under increased pressure, transferring patients to and from hospital alongside a clinician and acting as first responders for some life-threatening calls with a paramedics.
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is also considering how it can work with local authorities to provide assistance at temporary mortuary sites for victims of COVID-19.
Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “It’s good news we have more ambulances coming to Dorset and Wiltshire and I’m grateful to our firefighters for their support.
“Many of our firefighters are highly trained emergency response drivers, accustomed to dealing with emergency situations and I know they want to help in any way they can during this crisis.
“Agencies are working closely together during the coronavirus outbreak to help keep residents safe, and the collaboration between our fire and rescue service and the ambulance service will ensure our residents get medical care quickly if they need it.
“While we ask the public to stay at home, our firefighters will be able to use their transferable skills to support the ambulance service and the wider community in a variety of challenging roles, so we owe them a debt of gratitude.”
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