Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

County co-responder unit called after elderly woman collapses at home

A co-responder unit at Tetbury Fire Station was called into action this morning to give life-saving treatment to an elderly woman who collapsed at home.

The 74 year old suffered a cardiac arrest at her home in Tetbury shortly after midnight.

The co-responder unit was on scene within seven minutes of the 999 call being made and used a defibrillator followed by CPR to treat the woman while ambulance service resources were en route. A paramedic in a rapid response vehicle, backed up by an ambulance crew, took over her treatment. They were joined by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and a BASICS doctor. She regained consciousness at the scene, before being flown by the air ambulance to Bristol Royal Infirmary where she underwent heart surgery.

A joint partnership between Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, the co-responder scheme is currently run from seven fire stations in the county.

Co-responders are firefighters trained in life support, who respond to medical incidents in addition to an ambulance, when called out by the county's TriService Control.

Jon Hall, chief fire officer, said: "I'm delighted to see the co-responder scheme working just as it's supposed to in the county with units being perfectly placed to attend a medical emergency quickly and effectively."

"This was life-saving treatment in support of the county's hard-working ambulance trust and an excellent example of the fire service working with partner agencies to deliver the service Gloucestershire deserves."

Cllr Will Windsor Clive, cabinet member for community safety, said: "This incident shows exactly why it pays for local emergency services to work closely together. I hope this partnership goes from strength to strength."

John Oliver, spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service, said: "Co-responders are vital and valued resources able to provide essential life-saving support in the first, crucial minutes of a medical emergency. Their swift intervention, backed up by professional ambulance clinicians, means the patient has been given the best possible chance of not just surviving but recovering from her ordeal."

ENDS

Issued by: Keith Coles, Gloucestershire County Council media team, 01452 425226

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26th June 2013