POLICE and paramedics have once again teamed up to help keep Christmas revellers in Chesterfield safe and reduce unnecessary admissions to A&E.
Derbyshire Constabulary and East Midlands Ambulance Service are running the ‘PolAmb’ and town centre triage to provide a safe mobile first aid point and prevent trips to the emergency department.
This is the second year the two emergency services have run the scheme after its success over the festive period last year.
The PolAmb is a fast response vehicle staffed by a police officer and community paramedic on Friday and Saturday nights.
It responds to calls coming in to both police and the ambulance service control rooms about incidents in the town centre.
This allows paramedics to offer early medical assessment and treatment of people who are injured or taken ill in the town centre whilst allowing the police early intervention to deal with any crime or disorder related to the incidents attended.
There is also an outdoor triage where minor injuries can be treated to reduce unnecessary admissions to the A&E department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
The triage is based on Knifesmith Gate and is staffed by a police officer, paramedic, and St John Ambulance first aiders.
Licensees and door staff are also aware of its presence and are directing the ‘walking wounded’ to the unit for treatment, rather than ringing for an ambulance.
The scheme will run this weekend on the 23, 24 and 31 December when night time activity is at its peak in town centres in the run up to the Christmas and New Year period.
Inspector Steve Ball, who is in charge of policing in Chesterfield Borough, said: “The function of this initiative will be to provide easy access to medical assessment and treatment, particularly in relation to excessive drunkenness.
“We also hope through effective use of resources it will help to reduce violence and anti-social behaviour and reassure staff and members of the public visiting the town centre.
“We want people to enjoy the festive season but please be responsible and know your limits when drinking alcohol.”
Tim Slater Service Delivery Manager for EMAS added: “A lot of the incidents we are called to over the Christmas period affect both agencies and this scheme allows us to work together with the police and best utilise our resources.
“In most cases the patient can be treated at the scene so our ambulance crews are free to respond to other emergencies and we help reduce the number of people visiting A&E.”
For more information about this and other initiatives taking place over the festive period visit the websites www.derbyshire.police.uk or www.emas.nhs.uk.