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No go areas for 999 crews

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By Bob Geddes
Annan and Eskdale
No go areas for 999 crews

MORE than 40 addresses in Dumfries and Galloway have been flagged up as being classed as 'high risk' for ambulance crews.

There are now more than 3500 addresses across Scotland where ambulance crews receive warnings that they could be at risk and additional support from the police may be required.
In Dumfries and Galloway it has been revealed through a freedom of information request that there are 43 addresses which are classed as ‘no-go areas’, where crews could be put at risk and require additional support.
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service stressed that the safety of ambulance staff is paramount, which is why the service took appropriate measures to protect them: “As one of a number of protective measures, individual addresses where there have been previous incidents of violence or threatening behaviour towards staff are flagged in control rooms.
“This means that if a 999 call comes in from an address with a warning, dispatchers can identify that staff may be at risk and request additional police support. It is however possible to flag an address without the need for police attendance.”
The spokesman added: “Ambulance crews are given training in management of aggression and how to undertake a full risk assessment on arrival at scene to establish if there is any potential danger.
“If any crews feel that their safety may be compromised, they are instructed to hold nearby the scene and await support from the police, or additional ambulance crews.”
The spokesman said that they could not say how long ambulances had to wait for police support as staff logged the time the request for police support went in but not the time of arrival on scene.

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