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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 21:44 GMT
Fire vehicle helps cardiac cases
A new pilot co-responders scheme to help save lives in medical emergencies is to be tested in Tetbury.

Firefighters can now use their 4x4 vehicle for 999 calls where patients are suffering cardiac arrest, chest pain or having breathing difficulties.

Crews have been trained in the use of automatic defibrillators, oxygen therapy and patient assessment.

The pilot runs for six months and will be monitored by both the fire and ambulance service.

'Remote location'

It is hoped the pilot will establish if joint working of this kind can help enhance patient care in the county.

The co-responders have undergone training by the Gloucestershire Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance.

Tetbury was chosen because it is in a relatively remote location, and the fire station is located within the town.

Its 4x4 vehicle can be mobilised to these types of medical emergencies rather than a fire appliance, a council spokesman said.

The scheme is a partnership between Gloucestershire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service and Gloucestershire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

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