Community First Responder service to go live in Wingham

Wingham NSW Fire and Rescue captain David O'Donnell (right) takes part in the Community First Responder training with NSW Ambulance trainers and paramedics.
Wingham NSW Fire and Rescue captain David O'Donnell (right) takes part in the Community First Responder training with NSW Ambulance trainers and paramedics.

Wingham firefighters will soon be responding to triple zero (000) ambulance calls.

A Community First Responder service will go live in Wingham on Sunday, November 24 following months of training of at least 10 of Wingham's retained Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters.

The CFRs will be able to provide first aid care, prior to the arrival of NSW Ambulance paramedics.

Preparing to assist.

Preparing to assist.

Prior to going live, a community launch event will take place at Wingham Services Club on Saturday, November 23 where the CFRs will graduate the program and receive their Certificate II Medical Service First Response.

They will also receive a comprehensive suite of clinical equipment which will be carried on the fire appliances at all times.

Wingham captain David O'Donnell is optimistic about the new service and said his crew has received extensive training which will be ongoing.

The training was supervised by NSW Ambulance educators, clinical training officers and local paramedic mentors from Taree.

All current firefighters are trained in advanced first aid, oxygen resuscitation, use of automatic external defibrillators and basic patient assessment.

Firefighters in the Community First Responder program have received additional training to provide life saving intervention until ASNSW paramedics arrive.

"Nothing has changed for the WIngham community in relation to calling 000 for an ambulance," captain O'Donnell said.

Wingham firefighters during Community First Responder training with NSW Ambulance personnel.

Wingham firefighters during Community First Responder training with NSW Ambulance personnel.

"What will change from Sunday, November 24 is that the local Fire and Rescue NSW team from Wingham will be dispatched at the same time as the closest paramedic crew."

The FRNSW CFRs will be able to commence medical assessments and treatment and then transfer clinical care to the paramedics.