The fire service is one of the most underrated public services in the UK. It is less likely to speak out when it is hit by spending cuts, yet this winter it will be deployed in the NHS. That’s right, fire crews will be drafted in to take patients home from hospital.
Worcestershire Acute Hospital Trust has come to an arrangement which it hopes will prevent overcrowding and bed-blocking. But what does that mean for fire cover? According to reports, firefighters will transport vulnerable patients home. Not only that, they will “settle them in and check their surroundings are safe”.
Queuing ambulances lead to winter plan
The arrangement to use fire crews to take hospital patients home follows scenes of queuing ambulances outside hospitals last year. The fire service in Worcestershire has agreed to provide the transport service for six months – for free. During that time, it will seek to establish how much help the trust needs.
The service will be offered to patients at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch from the beginning of December. The Health Service Journal reports a spokesperson saying: “The service will be aimed at the most vulnerable to ensure they are safe in their own homes. Patients who can walk and possibly some wheelchair users will all benefit from transport home by uniformed fire service staff who are fully trained in identifying risks…”
What this means for your winter fire safety
Nationwide Water Solutions Limited is the UK’s market-leading, independent sprinkler tank expert. A spokesman said: “All eyes will be on Worcestershire this winter to see how this scheme works. What we don’t want to see is a national roll-out. Fire services are stretched and, in the event of a major fire, adequate resources are required in the quickest possible time.
“We advise owners of large commercial, retail and residential businesses to ensure their fire safety equipment can suppress a blaze and stop it from spreading. An automatic sprinkler system with a sprinkler tank is essential at a time when public services are under the cosh.
“In recent weeks, we have seen problems caused by low water pressure. These issues have highlighted the real benefits of having your own stored water supply to fight a fire. Our sprinkler tanks are designed to meet the needs of the buildings they serve and are a robust safety and loss prevention measure.”
Book a free site survey with Nationwide Water Solutions. For further information visit this website.