Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Other local authority activities: miscellaneous (A to E): ambulance co-responders

The Ambulance Co-responders initiative is an informal arrangement between some fire authorities and the NHS. The initiative applies to 999 emergency calls to the ambulance service and is designed to ensure that those in need of emergency medical assistance receive it as quickly as possible.

Where the arrangement is in place and the fire service is able to reach the scene of a 999 emergency incident before an ambulance, a fire co-responder will be despatched to the location ahead of the ambulance. Co-responders are trained in advanced first aid techniques and drive a fire service vehicle which is stocked with medical equipment. The fire crew are able to provide interim first aid assistance in the vital minutes until the ambulance arrives.

The Fire Service can, but does not always, charge the NHS a notional amount for its attendance at a health incident. The activity of providing 999 emergency cover is reserved to the public sector and exists solely for the public good. It does not constitute an economic activity for VAT purposes. The charges the Fire Service makes for attending an incident are therefore outside of the scope of VAT.