Let firefighters step in if ambulances aren't available, say fire chiefs

Let firefighters step in if ambulances aren't available, say fire chiefs

Fire officers could act as first responders in cases where an ambulance is not immediately available.

That's according to the chairperson of the Chief Fire Officers Association and head of the service in Dublin Patrick Fleming.

Fire chiefs are meeting at their annual conference in Tullamore today and are calling on the Government to invest more in their services.

However officers also say their expertise could be utilised to help ambulance services, particularly in rural areas.

Patrick Fleming said that while additional training might be required, it would provide some relief for paramedics.

"It's trying to get maximum use from the existing public services," he said, "particularly the fire services who are experienced in responding to emergencies and don’t panic.

"I think that could be very valuable, particularly in rural areas."


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