During 2012 the fire service improved the first aid provision of fire crews through the introduction of the ‘Immediate Emergency Care’ programme in partnership with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS).
This enhanced training has ensured that crews have access to the latest equipment as recommended by YAS. Following on from this improvement, they are now in the process of purchasing ‘automated external defibrillators’ which will be carried by all fire engines in North Yorkshire by 2014.
This means the fire service will be able to provide a better first aid response to causalities when they attend incidents, through the crews’ improved knowledge of first aid and through the use of defibrillators. It also ensures an increased level of protection for their own staff.
Swift water rescue
2012 also saw the completion of a three year water rescue strategy, which involved significant investment in swift water rescue capabilities. All of their fire stations now have water rescue skills so they can provide a more skilled response during flooding incidents.
Ripon, Whitby, Richmond, Malton and Selby have crews trained to an even higher standard, which allows them to perform swiftwater rescues, enter water and perform rescues from unstable surfaces. 4 of these stations have swiftwater rescue boats and may be called to water rescue incidents anywhere in the county. A boat has also been purchased for Selby which will be delivered in the next few months. This is an additional resource for the Service, and one which will become a national asset that may be called to flooding incidents anywhere in the country.
New firekit (personal protective equipment) will also being purchased for all staff. The ‘PBI gold firefighting personal protective equipment’ will be worn by all fire crews and officers from the middle of February 2013, and is part of an on-going investment in staff safety.
Area Manager Dave McCabe, Head of Policy and Protection said:
These investments show our continued dedication to offer the best possible service to members of the public throughout North Yorkshire and the City of York. The purchase of defibrillators and the improved first aid training provided to fire crews throughout the county is sure to have a positive impact on causalities at incidents we attend.
Our significant investment in water rescue training and equipment proved their worth during the severe flooding that hit the county last year and I’m sure they will continue to do so in the years to come.