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Trust teams up with Kent Police in Medway and Swale

28 February 2018

Joint Response Vehicle teamA partnership between South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and Kent Police will see a vehicle carrying a paramedic and two Special Constables respond to incidents across Medway and Swale.

The joint response unit, which will initially run for a pilot period of six months, will be in operation on Friday and Saturday nights from 2 March and will be assigned to attend incidents requiring a joint attendance.

The vehicle, a Mercedes Vito, has been provided by SECAmb. Its aims include reducing the number of calls SECAmb needs to make to Kent Police for assistance and dealing more swiftly and effectively with alcohol-related injuries. It is also hoped the unit will provide earlier intervention and investigation of crime and disorder. SECAmb and its police services are each other’s main ‘customer’. In Kent alone, SECAmb registered nearly 15,000 calls linked with Kent Police throughout 2017.

The special constables are not present to deliver medical assistance unless requested to by the paramedic, but they will assist the safety of the paramedic and establish if any police action is required at the scene. The partnership will add no additional cost to policing and is separate to a street triage service for people experiencing a mental health crisis, which is supported by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.

To date, 10 SECAmb paramedics and 12 police officers from the Kent Special Constabulary are signed up to crew the vehicle.

SECAmb paramedic and Operating Unit Manager for North Kent, Will Bellamy, said: “We’re really pleased to have developed this project and look forward to establishing the benefits we hope the pilot will bring. There’s obviously a huge amount of cross over between our work and that of the police and it makes sense to explore new ways of working such as this.”

Kent Police’s lead officer for the project, Police Constable Paul Whitehead said: “This is a great opportunity to help deliver a more effective service to the people of Kent, saving greatly on time and call demand and resources. The work of the unit is unique in the South East.”

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