Fire chief: ‘We are saving more lives despite funding pressures’

Fire chief Jason Thelwell updates MK Council about improvements made to the service
Fire chief Jason Thelwell updates MK Council about improvements made to the service

More lives have been saved and attendance times have improved since cutting costs from MK’s fire service.

Chief fire officer Jason Thelwell last night told MK Council that despite the funding pressures, no firefighters have been made redundant and all fire engines have remained.

Instead manager numbers have reduced by 22 per cent in five years - and Mr Thelwell says the service has “never got so much done”.

The total number of incidents attended in MK is down five per cent to 2,225, with the number of false alarms reducing by 35 per cent.

And as the number of house fires decrease, Mr Thelwell says the service is looking at new ways to help save lives.

From this year, firefighters will now attend cardiac arrests in Milton Keynes.

He said: “For every minute it takes to get to someone having a cardiac arrest, the chances of saving their life decreases by 10 per cent.

“If we can get there just one, two or three minutes before paramedics then we have a 10, 20, 30 per cent better chance of keeping them alive.”

The service now attends thousands of medical emergencies every year with defibrillators on every frontline fire engine and fire station.

Following the meeting, Mr Thelwell added: “It gave me great pride to talk about the achievements of our staff, who continue to come up with new ways of saving more lives in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire against a backdrop of financial challenges.”