Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) hosted a joint training event with student paramedics and qualified South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) staff at Dartford fire station in October.

The aim of the day was for firefighters to share their expertise and training to ensure both blue light services continue to work as effectively as possible at incidents to help save lives.

Dartford Watch Manager, Richard Cromarty said: “It’s essential when we respond to emergency calls that all the emergency services work closely, providing a coordinated response to help casualties and protect other road users.

“Every second is precious, so it’s vital that we operate side-by-side with paramedics to ensure those trapped in vehicles receive immediate treatment and are safely and swiftly released and on their way to hospital within the golden hour, to prevent further injury and improve their chances of survival.

“Training days like these are invaluable because they provide a central point at which agencies can get together to share expertise and best practice, but also identify areas in which knowledge can be expanded.”

Fire crews set up a series of complex rescues involving a simulated car crash and worked alongside the students paramedics showing them the hydraulic rescue equipment including: cutters that can cut through metal like scissors cut through paper. Spreaders with their powerful jaws that can be used to force open car doors. Rams that are used to create space and assist with vehicle stabilisation and a range of other specialist equipment that firefighters can use to help paramedics get to the casualties as quickly and easily as possible.

Denise Collett, Clinical Team Leader/Paramedic Practitioner at SECAmb’s Dartford station, said: “It’s so important that the Services work well together at incidents and by having these joint training sessions at the fire station, it enables us to see how each other needs to work, and what equipment is available, without it being in a time critical situation. It allows us to share and improve our knowledge and skills.”

Denise ended: “The feedback from this session was excellent and we are really grateful to KFRS for hosting the training. We look forward to planning more events in the near future.”