Ahead of the forthcoming Bank Holiday, the South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT) dedicated Motorcycle Response Unit has teamed up with police forces across the region in a bid to deal with road traffic collisions more efficiently. This is to triage incidents effectively and open roads more quickly.
The specialist unit, a team of four paramedics all with advanced motorcycle response training, base themselves throughout the region at strategic points on the major roads and motorways and can deploy at a moment’s notice, particularly at peak and busy times.
Since the start of the summer getaway SWASFT’s motorcycle paramedics have been working directly with the police with the aim of assessing incidents more quickly. This in turn benefits public and other services and agencies, resulting in quick assessment for those needing medial help and potentially less delays and congestion for the travelling public following collisions.
Scott King, Motorcycle Response Officer, said: “For the first time we are working directly with the Roads Policing Units. Being on a bike, we can often get to the scene faster than a traditional ambulance, enabling us to assess the severity of the incident more quickly.
“When we triage the scene it could result in the road being reopened immediately if the incident is not critical. We will be in a position to discharge people at the roadside or treat patients, who are not seriously injured, in a nearby safe place allowing the police or Highways to reopen the road. This will mean other road users won’t experience the frustration of a lengthy road closure where it can be avoided.
“If the incident is more serious, then we are there and can apply the same level of emergency care to patients as a regular paramedic, and deal with the issue until further crews arrive.”
Each motorcycle is like a mini ambulance and is kitted out with the latest technology and medicine needed to help at a critical incident. The motorcycle paramedics also have direct radio access to the police and can liaise with them instantly to triage the scene of an incident even before a traditional ambulance has arrived.
Sgt Jim Whatley, from the Tri-Force Roads Policing Unit, said: “Alongside our partner agencies we are constantly looking for ways to improve the service to the motoring public when serious incidents happen. This is both to safeguard the welfare of those unfortunately involved in a collision and to get the traffic moving as soon as possible – as slow moving or stationary traffic can cause further issues. This initiative will actively contribute to achieving those objectives, so we are delighted to be working with the Motorcycle Response Unit going forwards.”
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