Union fears over fire crews ambulance project
Posted: January 25, 2015
Posted in: Medical Negligence
A union has called for additional measures to be introduced in a project that sees fire crews respond to medical emergencies in ambulances. The project, ‘The Joint Ambulance Conveyance Project’ (JACP), was introduced in September and has already seen crews at three Lincolnshire fire stations called out seventy times. Where The Fire Brigades Union said that they supported the idea, bosses admitted that they were “chancing it” if a fire were to occur while crews were in ambulances.
Despite these concerns, managers maintained that the benefits outweighed the very “small risk” of a call-out clash. To determine the effectiveness of the scheme, it’s being piloted for one year with the support of a £491,000 government grant. According to officials, the project is actually being built off the back of an existing project, where the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) received the support of medically trained fire crews in fire service vehicles.
The select pilot stations are Long Sutton (September), Woodhall Spa (October), and Stamford (January). Richard King, one of the crew members at Long Sutton, voiced his opinions on the new scheme: “In the time we have been doing it, we have missed two fire calls, one to an animal stuck in a ditch and the other a medical emergency.”
Despite this, a spokesperson from the East Midlands Ambulance Service said that patient feedback had been “very positive“. A decision on the future of the pilot will be made when it ends in September.
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