Cuts of £6m over the next five years will see Surrey firefighters spending their shifts helping paramedics and people who have fallen in their homes, as well as fighting fires all over the county.

Surrey County Council have proposed a new public safety plan setting out how the fire and rescue service will make "efficiency savings" through working with other emergency services.

One Walton firefighter said the station had been trialling the scheme for three months.

He said: “It will make us busier but we’re the fire and rescue service, it’s a good thing as long as it’s being implemented in a good way.

“Our ambulance service is already stretched beyond their capabilities.

“In terms of responding to fires, it wouldn’t have any effect at all. At the end of the day, we’re here to help.”

Firefighters will respond to more ‘Red 1’ priority medical emergencies when fire crews are able to get to the patient before an ambulance.

Firefighters will also help paramedics into patients’ homes when they are unable to open their front doors, help those with telecare devices who report falls and develop their fire and road accident prevention work.

Surrey wants to make savings of £6 million over the next five years, “without a reduction in fire service cover” through merging back office functions with neighbouring fire services and reducing management tiers, according to a statement from the authority.

The draft plans will run from April 27 and June 7.