18 April 2017
Fire crews in Berkshire have teamed up with local ambulance crews and Thames Valley Police to help get to medical emergencies more quickly.
The new trial began at the start of the month and involves firefighters using their skills to help ambulance crews or police gain entry onto properties if it is feared someone is ill or hurt and needs immediate attention.
Police have traditionally ambulance teams force their way in secure premises where necessary. But fire crews carry the right equipment and can use their ladders to get into upstairs windows.
The trial will be evaluated throughout the six month before a decision is made as to whether it should become permanent.
Neil Carter, Group Manager at Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Joining up our response with our blue light partners should help to ensure that there are fewer obstacles or delays preventing someone receiving the care they desperately need.”
Philip Astle, Chief Operating Officer at South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) said: “We are pleased to be working with the three Thames Valley Fire and Rescue services to ensure we can gain access to patients as quickly as possible.
“Ambulance staff will make all attempts possible to gain access to a property prior to contacting the fire service. We would ask that any vulnerable members of the public have a key safe on their property and notify the emergency services of the code for this key safe.
“We are confident this pilot will be effective and benefit our speed of access to patients.”
Chief Inspector Scott Johnson from Thames Valley Police said, “This initiative is about providing the best possible response from the emergency services to patients needing urgent medical attention. It will reduce damage caused to properties, free up ambulance crew time as response times improve and most importantly may improve clinical outcomes for patients.
“This is joined up thinking across all three emergency services and underpins our common aim of keeping our communities safe.”
Original sourceWindsor Observer