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Police officers to accompany paramedics in ambulances

group_shot_close_landscapeOfficers from Wakefield have paired up with local paramedics in a bid to improve the emergency response over weekend nights.

West Yorkshire Police is working in partnership with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service to ensure that a police officer accompanies a paramedic in an ambulance.

The scheme, which is being supported by Wakefield Neighbourhood Policing Team, started at the beginning of the month and will continue each weekend until Christmas.

Sgt Kris Greenwood, from Wakefield District Police, said: ‘‘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 situation” for both services and members of the public.

He added: “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.”

Date posted: October 9, 2014

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