Pioneering fire service project for Long Sutton to be expanded
A life-saving partnership between firefighters and paramedics pioneered in Long Sutton could be expanded to other parts of Lincolnshire.
Staff at Long Sutton Fire Station were the first in the county to be trained for a Joint Ambulance Conveyance Project (JACP), a partnership involving Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and LIVES (Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service) First Responders.
The project saw firefighters from Long Sutton received medical training from LIVES in order to deal with cases of cardiac arrest, minor trauma, burns and falls until an ambulance arrives.
Lincolnshire County Council is to consider increasing the number of fire stations taking part on the JACP scheme from three to eight.”
Richard King, watch manager at Long Sutton Fire Station who was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Fire and Rescue and to Emergency Medical Care in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List said: “We’ve had more than 430 calls since the start of the year and over 1,000 calls since the project started.
“I very much think that people in the Long Sutton area have openly welcomed it and got used to us turning up in a fire ambulance.
We are operating in challenging times and this means every public service we operate has had to be re-evaluated and efficiencies found to deliver within a reduced budget
“To be the first station in the county to receive the fire ambulance was one the major highlights of my career.”
The planned expansion of the joint ambulance, LIVES and firefighters’ project comes despite Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue having to save nearly £1.7 million over the next three years.
Coun Nick Worth, executive member for fire and rescue services in Lincolnshire and county councillor for Holbeach, said: “We are operating in challenging times and continue to experience a decreasing amount of funding from the government.
“This means every public service we operate has had to be re-evaluated and efficiencies found to deliver within a reduced budget.
“However, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue is a high-priority service and therefore it has only seen a minimal reduction in its budget, whereas some services have been reduced significantly or stopped altogether.”
Coun Nigel Pepper, former retained fire fighters and county councillor for Crowland and Whaplode, said: “The important part of the consultation for us in the South Holland area is the continuation and development of the JACP which is already proving to be extremely successful at Long Sutton.
“Meanwhile, Crowland was the trial station for co-responding 16 years ago and since then it has expanded to 25 fire stations, with three of those stations now operating with a fire ambulance.
“Being a member of the JACP, I am keen to see the provision of fire ambulances extended to further Lincolnshire fire stations in order to reduce the impact of cardiovascular and other life-threatening emergencies in our communities.”