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Currently a partnership is being trialled between the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Services and the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Ambulance Service to help save lives on the Island. 

The scheme is collaborating forces between the two emergency services in order to strengthen the Island's response to cardiac arrest emergencies allowing them to respond in a timely, qualified and well equipped manner. 

Since early this year firefighters from Ryde’s green watch and on-call Shanklin fire station have headed the initiative.

Volunteers at both stations are equipped to provide lifesaving first aid until the arrival of the ambulance crew. 

The HIWFRS volunteer cardiac arrest responders, when available, are deployed simultaneously with the ambulance responders.    

Chief Executive of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Ambulance Service, Darren Cattell said: “This is the latest example of the strong partnership we have with our emergency services on the island. By working together we are continuing to build resilience and provide the very best emergency care to our island community.” 

HIWFRS’s Assistant Chief Officer Stew Adamson said: “Our firefighters are trained and equipped to provide some medical care at incidents and all of our fire engines carry defibrillators, oxygen and other lifesaving equipment. 

“We work closely with our ambulance service colleagues and have already been helping in this way in Hampshire. If we are in a position to save a life, it’s right that we should respond if we can”.   

Firefighters have been undergoing (IEC) Immediate Emergency Care training to provide this lifesaving emergency aid.

Being a trial, if this partnership proves successful you may expect to see it rolled out across a wider range of communities in the UK. 

But for now, with the two services working in tandem and their relationship constructive and well established, victims of cardiac emergencies can and have been saved on the Isle of Wight.