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Night-time partners

In West Yorkshire, police and paramedics are joining forces to keep night-time revellers safe in Wakefield as part of a partnership between West Yorkshire Police and Yorkshire Ambulance Service. A police officer will accompany a paramedic in a rapid response treatment vehicle which will be deployed into Wakefield centre. The scheme, which is being supported by Wakefield Neighbourhood Policing Team, will continue each weekend until Christmas.

Sergeant Kris Greenwood, from Wakefield District Police, said: ‘‘The aim of the project is to put police and the ambulance service in the best position to be able to quickly help people who need emergency medical treatment. Having a police officer and a paramedic together in the same vehicle provides us with a platform to effectively deal with incidents by arriving at the scene together. This means police can establish a safe scene for paramedics to work and also prevents police officers waiting for a double-crewed ambulance to assess what are often minor injuries.

‘‘We are confident this simple but sensible scheme will help to relieve some of the burden on local accident and emergency departments as well as preventing officers waiting with injured parties at hospital. The presence of a police officer provides paramedics with the necessary support to deal with what can be violent, uncooperative and drunken patients. This helps to ensure the safety of the paramedic, the wider public and patients themselves. ’’

Stefan Frankowiak, Yorkshire Ambulance Service A&E Locality Manager for Wakefield, says the scheme is a win-win: “Unfortunately, a lot of 999 calls received in busy town and city centres on weekend evenings are alcohol-related and are usually for those who may have had too much to drink, fallen over, or got into a fight. Most of the time, these people only require treatment for minor cuts or bruises so the benefits of this scheme is that it allows the paramedic to treat patients at the scene with the reassurance that police are on hand to handle any difficult situations and keep public order.”

“People who are injured are seen quicker, the police have a paramedic immediately on scene, the number of unnecessary trips to the hospital emergency department is reduced and our ambulances are left to deal with more serious emergencies. This scheme makes for a really good partnership.”


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