Denman Fire and Rescue to begin Community First Responders (CFR) service this weekend

TOP EFFORT: Gavin Bright, Merriwa Ambulance Station manager Alan Davey, Stephen Kendall, Denman Fire Station captain Gavin Bray, Malcolm Kendall, and Amon Burkill.
TOP EFFORT: Gavin Bright, Merriwa Ambulance Station manager Alan Davey, Stephen Kendall, Denman Fire Station captain Gavin Bray, Malcolm Kendall, and Amon Burkill.

NO one could doubt the dedication of the Denman Fire Station crew.

The Fire and Rescue NSW team have been helping their community for decades.

But, from Saturday, they will be adding an extra service to their already community-minded role.

The local firefighters will commence their work as Community First Responders (CFR), an Ambulance Service of NSW operated program which aims to provide timely first aid to patients, before the ambulance arrives.

The team members are trained by Ambulance NSW and will operate under the clinical and operational control of the organisation.

Denman 283 Station captain Gavin Bray said it was great news for the town and surrounding areas.

“Firefighters from Fire and Rescue NSW at Denman have now completed all theory and practical training with Intensive Care Paramedics from Ambulance NSW,” he said.

Their trainer, Ambulance NSW Merriwa Station manager Alan Davey said there was a lot of effort involved and the dedication of the team was obvious.

“There is a benchmark that needs to be achieved and these guys flew,” he said.

“These guys will be on scene; we’ll be on our way.

“[They] are equipped with ambulance equipment, they have pretty much everything they could possibly need for initial life saving and first aid requirements.

“We’re going to come in alongside them and provide additional medical services.”

The firefighters are not able to transport patients, but are trained in resuscitation, defibrillation, and other life-saving skills.

Mr Bray emphasised his team would not be replacing Ambulance NSW services to Denman, but rather enhancing them.

He said people should not be alarmed if a fire truck arrived after they called Triple Zero for an ambulance.

“That’s how the system will work now,” he said.

“We’ll primarily get there first but the ambulance will still be coming [from Muswellbrook or Merriwa].

“When we get on scene, we’ll wear a vest stating that we are working for Ambulance NSW, and we will use Ambulance NSW radios, and report to their communications centre.”

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