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Assembly Member demands action on First Responders’ clampdown

November 1, 2011 5:21 PM
Originally published by Peter Black and South Wales West Liberal Democrats

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black, has demanded action from the Health minister to resolve the dispute between the Welsh Ambulance Trust and the Fire Service over the first response scheme to medical emergencies, after an 89 year old lady in Rhossili waited 55 minutes for an Ambulance last week.

Until recently, an agreement existed whereby part time firefighters in rural areas would respond first to a medical emergency so as to provide comfort and basic first aid. However, the Ambulance Trust has scaled back this activity so that fire fighters are now only called out to deal with five categories of call rather than the 140 categories previously. In the Assembly chamber today Mr. Black demanded a statement from the Minister as to how she will resolve this issue.

"I understand that it is not always possible to get an Ambulance to a remote spot within the target times, which is why the first responder scheme was introduced in the first place," said Mr. Black. "The scaling back of this scheme has left many people without the support they need from the emergency services.

"The 89 year old lady in Rhossili who was left waiting 55 minutes when a first responder could have been there in less than 10 is the latest to suffer because of this decision. It is time the Minister intervened to sort this out."