Rural ambulance scheme has been abandoned says Assembly Member

July 20, 2011 4:34 PM
Originally published by Peter Black and South Wales West Liberal Democrats

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has written to the Welsh Ambulance Trust to ask why they have stopped working with rural fire stations so as to improve responsiveness and save lives.

The partnership has been operating for 12 years and involved 13 fire stations saving on average 60 - 70 lives per year. Its aim was to bring a fast response to all those medical emergencies where the ordinary Ambulance Service would not make it in time.

Members of the Fire Service have been trained by paramedics in order to be able to provide not only basic medical help but also to cope with more serious casualties involving using defibrillators, oxygen and many other complicated medical techniques. Unfortunately, the scheme has been recently abandoned and the resultant gap in providing fast response to medical emergencies has not been covered.

"This scheme operated in my region, especially in Gower and I am concerned that the Welsh Ambulance Service does not appear to be interested in replacing it with something else" said Mr. Black. "We need to ensure that the current situation between Welsh Ambulance Service and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service will not affect the safety of people from across Wales"

"I would encourage both parties to look for an agreement that will not lead to any further loss of time, or impact on people's safety."

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