Sheffield Blue Light Services Join Forces

Monday, 05 September, 2011

Alan Baranowski, Assistant Director of A&E Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

REVELLERS in Sheffield could be forgiven for thinking they're seeing double as a joint emergency force take to the beat.

Late-night pairing of a paramedic with Special Constables on Friday and Saturday nights will provide a quick response to people with alcohol-related illnesses or injuries in the town centre night spots.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust and South Yorkshire Police have joined forces for the tried-and-tested initiative which has also proved to be a huge success in other cities in the region including York and Hull.

The twin benefits are that whilst police are dealing with any anti-social behaviour, crime or disorder the paramedic can safely enter the environment to provide early medical assessment and treatment to those who are injured.

Alan Baranowski, Assistant Director of A&E Operations for South Yorkshire at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, says the scheme is a win-win situation for both the ambulance service and the police.

He said: "Unfortunately, a lot of the 999 calls received in busy town and city centres on evenings at weekends are alcohol-related and are usually for those who 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 the 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."

Inspector Alex Murthi from South Yorkshire Police City Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team said: "Working together we will deliver a co-ordinated and concerted approach to ensure that we deal swiftly and effectively with alcohol-related incidents and injuries safely, and reduce the likelihood of potentially violent situations."

The scheme began last weekend and will run on Friday and Saturday nights and may be extended to bank holidays and occasions where large numbers of people are anticipated, such as major music or sporting events.

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