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999 work at home - ambulance staff on call

By Sara Nathan on Thursday, 2nd September 1999.

PARAMEDICS will answer 999 calls from their own homes in a bid to slash ambulance response times.
Ambulance staff will swap the control room for the living room after agreeing to be on call day and night for a new pilot scheme.
The trial project, which is being spearheaded by East Anglian Ambulance Service, will be launched next month - and Haverhill is one of the first areas to be targeted after a series of ambulance cover crises.
The scheme could be expanded to Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk if it is a success.
Paramedic Bob Tuck, 56, who has spent 22 years in the service, will work from his Haverhill home as a "community responder" for a six-month period. He said: "I was happy to be asked to take part - our aim is to cut response times and build on our relationship with the public.
"We have gone through some pretty rough times and we really need a service to back up the town's only vehicle.
"I will have some time off - but I am looking forward to some sleepless nights!"
Paramedics will attend emergencies in their own rapid response vehicle, as well as being equipped with a mobile phone and pager.
Frank Harradence, Suffolk county commander, said: "These community responders are an addition to the existing service.
"They will be on call night and day and at weekends, but there will obviously be times when they are not on duty and they will have holidays like everyone else."
Mr Harradence said the trial was just one possible scheme to help meet tough national response targets coming into force in early 2001.

Haverhill Weekly News

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