Continuing tight budgets and cuts mean Falmouth's fire fighters are having to step in where other emergency services are falling short, according to a report to the town council.

Stuart Williams, watch manager at Falmouth Fire Station, told councillors that the service was taking on responsibilities that were traditionally carried out by police and paramedics as there is not the money for them to provide their usual coverage.

These include acting as medical first responders, bringing people back to life following a cardiac arrest, as well as forcing entry to buildings.

He said: "We are now being called on as a first responder. Budgets are stretched for the ambulance service and we're a can-do organisation.

"We had a busy period [in September], and successfully brought a person around, who is now up and walking around the streets again."

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has now also entered into an agreement with South West Ambulance Service to help paramedics gain entry to buildings, a role usually filled by the police but which officers are now "too stretched" to carry out, and carried out four such entries between August and October.

Mr Williams said: "They're saying they can't do it any more.

He added: "We are finding things we don't usually like finding."

As a result of these additional responsibilities, crews now carry emergency defibrillators and other life saving medical apparatus, and Mr Williams said unions and the fire service are now asking for more funding to help cover the additional new responsibilities. He also reported that the new duties would not take precedence over the service's primary role of fire protection.

Councillor Anna Gillett expressed the council's gratitude to local emergency services for "continuing to carry out the services which they do."

She said: "We know police fill in gaps in the health services, and you have just explained that you help fill in with the ambulance services."

Later in the meeting councillors discussed the absence of police at this year's planned Remembrance Sunday parade, due to take place this weekend.

In a report from town manager Richard Gates, the council was told that this would be the first year the force did not provide marshals to close the roads during the service.

He said: "This used to be the only event where police marshalled the roads," explaining that since the force had faced heavy cuts they had only provided marshals for events of national importance such as Remembrance Day and royal visits, but they had "stepped away from that now."

Instead the town will provide it's own marshals, meaning there will be a smaller area of road closures than previously.

Councillor Geoffrey Evans, who also represents the town as a Conservative Cornwall Councillor, said he thought the decision was "disgraceful," and he would be discussing the issue with the police commissioner.

He said: "This is why we are losing the [good] feeling between the public and the police.

"The police control the roads better than marshals, police have more authority than anyone else. The police bring a presence."

He added that the council should discuss options such as paying the police to provide cover, and Mr Gates added that he was sure the force would still send representatives for the wreath laying.