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Techie1

Specials being sent to ambulance calls

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Pilot underway in Hampshire where type of medical emergency 'could include cardiac arrest'.

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Special constables in Hampshire are now serving as first responders for the ambulance service.

A trial has begun which will see six specials, who have been trained by paramedics, deployed to carry out initial lifesaving treatment at medical emergencies where an ambulance would struggle to get there in time.

A statement from the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) says: “The type of medical emergencies the special constables could be sent to include patients in cardiac arrest where every second saved before treatment commences makes a real difference to the patient surviving.”

Local Police Federation chairman John Apter said the scheme is covering gaps in the "broken"  ambulance service with resources from another overstretched one.

Richard Tracey, SCAS community responder manager, said: “Due to the nature of their work, the special constables in Hampshire are often roaming across the more rural parts of the county.

“If we get a 999 emergency call saying someone is in cardiac arrest in such areas, they could be the closest medically trained person to the incident by a good few minutes.”

The training provided by SCAS enables the specials to carry out basic lifesaving skills, including the use of oxygen and a defibrillator, which can be used to provide a shock to patients in cardiac arrest.

Hampshire Special Constabulary Deputy Chief Officer Russell Morrison said: “The partnership has enabled the six special constables to develop and enhance their emergency first aid capabilities.

“It is something they are extremely passionate about; being able to offer an additional, potential lifesaving service to the communities and people they help keep safe.”

The specials will respond for SCAS to medical emergencies in their patrol vehicles under normal road conditions. This is similar to the service provided by existing community first responders across the ambulance service region.

The ambulance service says the specials will be classified as first responders when deployed by them so should the patient they help dies it will not count as a death following police contact for the purposes of an IPCC investigation.

Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter said: “Any initiative which sees police officers assisting other 999 services such as this and giving first aid to those who need it will be a good thing, however for years police officers have given first aid.

“But this initiative is papering over the cracks of a broken ambulance service with scarce police resources, at a time when our officers are struggling to respond to our own 999 calls.

“If our special constabulary do have extra capacity then why don’t we deploy them to where they’re needed in some of our busiest areas?”

View on Police Oracle 

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There are so many things wrong with policies which encourage police to take on work from other organisations whether it is PCSOs taking on the role of retained firefighters in Devon, joint police and fire patrols in Northants and specials being trained as first responders in Hants.  We should be trying to shift work back to the appropriate organisations rather than taking on more work from them.  We already respond to mental health problems and mispers from hospitals and children's homes, concern for welfare for social services and now fires and as a dedicated first response.  Some one needs to stand their ground and say no when people come knocking on our doors asking us to do their work for them.  We have enough to do for our own work with an increasing population and growing crime q's without doing the work of other organisations.  You never hear about ambulance crews responding to a shop lifter so why should be provide a specific first response to a health problem. I'm not saying that we shouldn't provide first aid when we come across injured people but we shouldn't be going out of our way to provide a dedicated albeit relatively untrained response to a health problem.

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Let us be honest about this, When was the last time that anyone took a St. John's First Aid refresher course. There was a time when this was done every 3 years. At the present time there are very few officers wo are actually qualified to perform first aid. Unless all officers are trained then this should not be being considered.

Having said all of that I do not know of any officer who would not attempt to save some persons life, qualified, or not. It is what we do.

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Let us be honest about this, When was the last time that anyone took a St. John's First Aid refresher course. There was a time when this was done every 3 years. At the present time there are very few officers wo are actually qualified to perform first aid. Unless all officers are trained then this should not be being considered.
Having said all of that I do not know of any officer who would not attempt to save some persons life, qualified, or not. It is what we do.


Zulu, Every year first aid is part of self defence package.

As for this I agree with John Apter, papering over the cracks.

Sent from my PLK-L01 using Tapatalk

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Yes but it is a farce serving platitudes. Nobody is going to fail anything. If anything like ours some people were attending 4 and 5 times to make up the numbers as many were not available. We never had a list of who was qualified and the cleaners could be better qualified.

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