Ettington Community First Responder team are encouraging local people to ensure that their houses can be found easily and quickly should they have to call 999.
The volunteer First Responders work in partnership with West Midlands Ambulance Service and are despatched to assist people suffering from serious and life-threatening medical emergencies who have called 999 for help. The First Responders can give immediate care in the rural areas until the arrival of the Ambulance crew.
Our First Responder team commented: “Because we respond locally in the area where we live, we can often arrive within the first few minutes following the 999 call being made. As we know the area well, we can normally find the road where the incident is located fairly easily but the biggest problem we can then face is actually finding the correct house. This can mean vital minutes are wasted trying to find the house. It’s even worse where houses only have names and not numbers as we may have to search the entire street before we can find the correct property”.
The team have issued some advice for local residents to help ensure that homes can be quickly and easily identified by the emergency services:
- Make sure your house number is large enough to be seen from the road side. If you cannot see it from the street, the emergency services won’t be able to either.
- If possible place your house name and number on a w all or a gatepost next to the road rather than, or as well as, on the door. Many houses have numbers on the side or on the door which cannot be seen at all from the road.
- Cut back foliage regularly so that your number can be seen clearly. Bushes can hide the number or name – especially in the Spring and Summer.
- Ensure that your house number and/or name stands out – especially at night.
- Encourage your neighbours to make their house numbers visible. The emergency services w ill be able to find your house more quickly if your neighbours houses are also clearly numbered.
- If you have to call 999 in an emergency, whilst your first priority is managing the patient and speaking to ambulance control, if there are additional people available please try to get someone to stand outside the house to watch out for ourselves or the Ambulance crew arriving and to flag us/them down. Once a First Responder has arrived and is attending to the patient, please try to continue to keep someone outside in order to direct the Ambulance crew who will also be arriving.
- At night turn on all the lights on in the house. This will make it stand out more.
The team went on to say: “If local people can act on the advice above, it will help ourselves and the Ambulance crews find houses much more quickly in an emergency situation saving vital minutes and even lives”.