Police and paramedics team up for new response service

Paramedics will be spending Friday night shifts with their police colleagues in an effort to provide immediate care to injured Cleveland residents and ease the pressure on both services.

Medicar 1 North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and Cleveland Police are working together on the Medicar trial, which will see a paramedic working alongside two special constables in a dedicated response car, operating across Cleveland from 7pm-3am every Friday evening for the next 12 months.

The Medicar team will respond to incidents which would traditionally be attended by both services separately, such as road traffic collisions and assaults.

Traditionally, police officers attending an incident would contact the Emergency Operations Centre at NEAS to request an ambulance if they believe someone requires further treatment. Similarly, an ambulance crew may contact the police control room to request police back up if they feel unsafe on scene.

With access to live incidents via the police radio, the Medicar team will contact any officer requesting ambulance back up, travelling straight to the scene to begin any necessary treatment immediately and establish what further ambulance assistance, if any, is required.

The two services hope that by working closer together in this way, they can provide a faster response to those involved in the incident whilst ensuring their resources are used efficiently.

During an initial pilot, which operated with volunteers over three shifts in October, the car attended several road traffic collisions and assaults.

At many of the incidents the team attended, the paramedic was able to quickly assess and treat the injured patients without the need for ambulance, not only freeing up an ambulance for someone else in need but also freeing up the police officers quickly to enable them to investigate the crimes and arrest the suspects.

At other incidents, the paramedic was able to provide initial life-saving treatment to patients whilst an ambulance crew were travelling.

Paul Liversidge, chief operating officer at NEAS, said: “This trial is a great example of how, working together, we can improve the service we are able to offer to the public we serve.

“Rather than attending incidents separately, potentially waiting for each other to arrive, we are able to provide a joint response immediately and, as the initial trial showed, often prevent further resources being dispatched to an incident unnecessary, meaning they are able to be dispatched to someone else in need.

“We look forward to seeing the results of this trial next year.”

Inspector Nick Owen from Cleveland Police said: “The Medicar shows partnership working at its best.

“We hope that the pilot scheme will save both emergency services valuable time and resources by travelling together in the same vehicle and responding jointly to incidents which require both services.

“We have already seen some examples of great work and incidents where life-saving treatment was administered whilst further help was on route. We hope to continue this great work into the near future and beyond.”

Photo caption (L-R): Paul Smith, Clinical Care Manager from NEAS, Specials Chief Inspector James Ruddock from Cleveland Police, Operations Manager Daryen Lemmon from NEAS and Assistant Chief Officer from the Special Constabulary, Rob Lynas.