Hartlepool-based Medicar project extended after responding to attempted murder and road collisions
It’s helped crash casualties and been dispatched to an attempted murder, and now a team which brings together police and paramedics to help the injured during the hours of darkness is to be extended.
The Medicar is a joint initiative involving Cleveland Police and the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) operating on Friday nights between 7.30pm and 3.30am from its Hartlepool base.
The vehicle, which is manned by special constables and paramedics, allows both emergency services to respond more quickly to incidents such as assaults, people being taken ill and road traffic collisions.
It has been running since October 2018 and from the last weekend of this month it will also operate on Saturday nights.
During that time, it has responded to more than 200 incidents and taken 34 patients to hospital, with 146 ambulances stood down to free them up to attend other callouts.
Previously both police and ambulance service would respond separately.
The Medicar is fitted with equipment from both services, including a defibrillator, so that people can be helped more quickly while deciding whether further support is needed.
NEAS clinical operations manager Daryen Lemmon said: “Due to the success of the scheme over the last 12 months, we have decided to operate the Medicar on Saturday nights too.
“It means that we can treat patients more quickly while at the same time use our resources more effectively.
“It’s an excellent example of emergency services working together to help our local communities.”
Assistant Chief Officer of Cleveland Police Special Constabulary Rob Lynas said: “The Medicar shows partnership working at its best.
“I have personally seen some examples of great work and incidents where life-saving treatment was administered whilst further help was on route. I have also seen where the scheme has prevented further deployment of resources from either police or ambulance and Medicar can reduce demand on both services.
“The Medicar has been first on scene for a range of jobs, from an attempted murder to medical emergencies.
“We’re pleased to be able to extend the scheme and continue responding jointly to incidents which require both services.