Unit is the first of its kind in the country
On Monday (17 August 2020) Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) launched a new Technical Support Unit. Based at Dunstable Fire Station, it is the first of its kind in the country.
This new vehicle will respond to Bariatric and complex patient incidents where emergency removal of a patient is required to support the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST).
The dedicated vehicle carries specialist equipment including a bariatric stretcher provided by EEAST. This stretcher will enable crews to provide the best possible care to the patient.
Darren Evans, station commander Dunstable, said:
“Over the last few years Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue service has been developing our response to Bariatric and complex patient incidents.
“This new vehicle enables us to carry more specialist equipment including a bariatric stretcher which has been provided by EEAST.
“As we attend the majority of these types of incidents to support EEAST, having this stretcher on our vehicle enables it to be immediately available for EEAST to use and to transport the patient to Hospital in their Ambulance.
“We look forward to developing a close working relationship with EEAST and to improve the quality of care provided at incidents.”
This is the second part of a collaboration between Beds Fire and the EEAST, who now have ambulances based at the Dunstable Fire Station.
The Blue Light Collaboration co-locates various response vehicles at fire stations across the County. Thomas Barker, community response manager EEAST, said:
“We already work in close partnership with Beds Fire and Rescue Service to support patients within the local community, utilising resources such as the Fire Service Falls team and Cardiac Arrest Responders.
“The Technical Support Unit comes as a great addition to further develop our partnership with BFR, this new vehicle will be able to improve our response to bariatric and complex patients bringing specialist knowledge and equipment to scene.
“We look forward to assessing the outcomes of this trial and increasing our collaborative partnership.”
Assistant chief fire officer Andy Peckham said:
“We know that the number of complex patient rescues we are attending alongside EEAST justifies a specific and dedicated resource. Our staff have been asking for an improved solution and, working with them, we believe we have delivered this.
“By repurposing an existing specialist-built vehicle we have benefited from technical solutions – such as a powered tail lift – and excellent value.”