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RFU Position on Lincolnshire Ambulance Trial

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Fire Service Co-Responders and further development

We are aware that Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) are in the early stages of positioning Ambulances crewed by On-Call firefighters at 3 stations in the county as part of a 12 month trial.

Our views on this development are as follows:

The trial is being undertaken by firefighters, some of whom are RFU members that have volunteered to take part; no pressure from either the FRS or RFU is being applied to any firefighter to engage in this trial. The RFU will work with Lincolnshire FRS during the trial and offers its full support to any member who wishes to take part.

Co-Responders operating such vehicles will do so having had all necessary training to undertake the role; they will performalongside paramedics or general practitioners with the necessary skills. Again in our view, the ability to transport patients to hospital quickly if the need arises under the supervision of a medical professional, reduces delay and suffering and importantly will speed up access to treatment.

We should never forget that an enhanced medical based response (whosoever provides it) is always in the public interest and working alongside partners in our viewis the best way of achieving such an aim.

The trial, if successful, will offer enhanced capability to those living in the areas being served by the new vehicles; this can only be viewed as an improvement to service delivery and public safety. Subject to the findings of the trial, we therefore could see further expansion of this service as having the potential to save more lives and reduce suffering; as our primary motivation is to save life, this has to be our main driver in supporting the trial.

John Barton
National General Secretary