MAY 25, 2008
milkman has died after collapsing in his vehicle. The First
Responders were not called to help because, I understand, it was
thought to have been a road traffic collision (RTC) to which
First Responders are not called. The milk float collided with
gates opposite a road junction.
Councillor Bill McGinnis told me: "Following
the meeting at the Town Council offices, the North West
Ambulance Service (NWAS) has written stating that they will have
a meeting with Cheshire County Council's Scrutiny Committee to
discuss their plans to change the way the Community First
Responders (CFRs) operate. In the meantime, they would remove
the use of blue lights and siren but would not implement the
rest of the package.
at least, is what their Chief Executive indicated in his latest
letter to the Town Council. Unfortunately, this undertaking was
broken almost immediately as on Saturday, May 17, there was an
incident at the junction of Queen’s Drive and Welsh Row where a
man suffered a cardiac arrest whilst driving his milk float.
ambulance was summoned from some distance away but the CFR team
was not called out. It appears that they have implemented the
halt on CFRs attending RTCs and the consequence was that there
was no oxygen available quickly in this case. First aid from a
passer-by and the police was all that could be given until the
ambulance eventually arrived. The first responders were some 800
yards away and within a five-minute range.
"Very sadly, the
man has since died.
course, we laymen cannot say whether the CFRs would have made a
life-saving difference, but surely it would have given this man
the best possible help within our powers if the local team had
been called out – in accordance with the undertaking in the
letter to the Town Council.
we at the Town Council are furious at the complete failure of
the service to keep their word and we are deeply saddened at the
circumstances of this case. We have written to the Chief
Executive of the NWAS demanding an explanation.
"If there is to be a coroner’s inquest, I will be requesting
permission to give evidence in relation to the behaviour of the
REPORTING on the
incident, The Nantwich Chronicle (May 21) said the ambulance
"didn't arrive for 17 minutes because it was miles away." The
newspaper reported that First Responder Gavin Palin "was less
than a mile away."
The Chronicle, an NWAS spokesman said the call was classified as
a road traffic collision and an emergency ambulance was
dispatched immediately. "As more information was provided by the
caller this was classified as a suspected cardiac arrest," said
the spokesman, adding: "Community First Responders are not
deployed to road traffic collisions on the grounds of clinical
and personal safety."
NANTWICH'S First Responders are
firefighters, more than a little used to putting their lives on
the line as they tackle blazes. Attending road accidents - road
traffic collisions - are part and parcel of their routine work.
But, of course,
probably not all First Responders are in this line of work, and
so - as seems to be the case at the moment - all First
Responders work in the same way. If one cannot do something,
none of them can.