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Farron responds quickly to safeguard effective First Responders

July 18, 2007 12:00 AM

Local MP Tim Farron has this week met with the Area Director of the Ambulance Service North West and the regional manager of First Responders to alert them to several recent incidents when their services have failed his constituents. Last week saw two separate occasions when the Ambulance Service switchboard failed to alert the closest First Responder group to the person in need of help, resulting in no first response care being administered. The first failure occurred on the 14th July in Chapel Stile when a man collapsed outside a village shop. Instead of contacting the Langdale First Responders, one of whom was only 200 yards from the incident, the switchboard contacted another group whose only active officer deemed himself too far away to provide assistance. On the same day after man was suspected of having a stroke in his car in Copthow the Langdale group, the nearest unit, was once again not informed and a first responder did not arrive until fifteen minutes after the ambulance.

There have also been half a dozen recent reports of ambulances arriving a considerable time after being called or failing to find the injured parties at all. The core of the problem appears to lie with the switchboard, which is based outside of the region manned by people with poor knowledge of the most rural areas of Cumbria. Both the Ambulance Service North West and the First Responders' representative committed themselves to fully investigating the system failures raised by Tim in their meeting. Tim will continue to work closely with both organisations to maintain consistent and effective First Response services and safeguard against future errors.

Tim Farron said:

"Although we have many committed First Responder groups in our region who provide an excellent and much needed service, if the wrong units are contacted then the system is rendered worthless.

"It is vital that we address these issues quickly and safeguard not only the smooth running of the service but more importantly the many lives that depend on it."