13 Aug 2007

Paramedic Vehicles To Combat Domestic Violence

North Yorkshire Police and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service are launching a brand new initiative this week to tackle domestic violence as part of Operation Impact, an eight-week campaign to gain a sustained reduction in crime across the region.
A sensible initiative I'm sure. After all, how many times do you go to a drunken domestic and need to call for an ambulance to treat the aftermath of the rowing parties fisty cuffs? Any new measure that goes some way towards dealing with the aftermath of British binge drinking has to be applauded.
The media release goes on to say... the pairing of a paramedic with a police officer on late night weekend shifts means emergency care is now on the city’s streets - helping to reduce unnecessary 999 calls and visits to A&E. Apparently this scheme has already been trialed in other parts of Yorkshire with positive results for both emergency services.
Despite the good points I also have some thoughts of caution...
  • Is the paramedic to receive any additional self defence training, over and above the basics they already receive? In a highly charged drink fueled disturbance the possibility of injury is obviously increased.
  • Is there not a a slight conflict of interests between the crew of the vehicle? Although they have a common remit to preserve life, one has that as a primary aim the other's is law enforcement.
  • Is this not another import from the USA where there is more combined management of emergency services and cross role working?
  • Is this another way of sneaking workforce modernisation in by the back door?

I suppose it is highly likely more good than bad will come from the 'experiment' but I would like to reserve judgement, at least for now.

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