THE safety of residents in Weardale has been given a boost with two new tri-responder recruits.

Chris Elms and Jamie Clarkson are the latest to pass the vigorous programme which allows them to respond to emergencies on behalf of three emergency services, Durham Constabulary, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) and the North East Ambulance Service.

Chris and Jamie said they are both passionate about helping the local communities.

Jamie, 27, has served as an on-call fire firefighter in Crook for the last two years and has a background in fitness.

He said: “When I first joined the fire service, I saw one of the responders and knew straight away, that’s what I would love to do some day. It still doesn’t feel real.”

Chris, 33, has served as a PCSO for the last eight years and is the first recruit of the scheme to come from a police background.

He said: “I have been a PCSO in Weardale for three years which I love but I’m looking forward to concentrating on the education side of safety and working with youngsters as we can go into schools with three different hats on and three different lessons.”

The pair started their new roles on July 1 but are not expected to be fully operational for some months whilst they complete some training course with each service.

They will be based out of Stanhope Police Station and will serve the communities of Weardale, particularly concentrating on delivering safety messages and practical sessions including CPR training and defibrillator training.

Sgt Simon Rogers who helped conduct the interviews said: “These roles are really innovative and an effective way of delivering emergency services to the community.

“They are going to enhance the emergency response provision already in place and are an excellent opportunity for all three services to work together to continue to provide high quality services for Weardale.”