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Firefighters to become first responders

Firefighters to become first responders

Published at 10:57am 24th February 2016. (Updated at 5:15pm 24th February 2016)

If you suffer a cardiac arrest in Ilkley, it could soon be a firefighter who's first on the scene.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is teaming up with Yorkshire Ambulance Service as part of a new Emergency First Responder scheme.

It means that a trained member of staff could be deployed to a life-threatening situation whilst an ambulance is on its way.

The pilot project follows the success of schemes in Humberside and the East Riding of Yorkshire and South Yorkshire.

Skelmanthorpe is the first fire station in West Yorkshire to join the scheme, with Ilkley and Featherstone becoming operational next month.

Each Emergency First Responder has been trained in basic life support, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and oxygen therapy.

They will be dispatched at the same time as an ambulance.

Paul Stevens, Head of Community Resilience at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: "We have a responsibility to ensure we explore all available options to improve clinical outcomes for people in Yorkshire and we are delighted to be working in partnership with WYFRS on this Emergency First Responder scheme.

"We have a very clear ambition to improve the survival rate for those people who suffer from a cardiac arrest in the community and we want to have world-class levels of survival."