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No impact on ambulance service

THE SCOTTISH Ambulance Service has confirmed that no operational time was lost after one of its two ambulances in Shetland was reportedly vandalised in Lerwick at the weekend.

The vehicle was damaged on the town’s Market Street overnight between Saturday and Sunday, with the police saying it had “the potential to put the vehicle off the road until repair work is completed”.

It has now been confirmed that there was no impact on the operational service of the ambulance, which suffered damage to a wiper blade and a wing mirror.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson said that “any criminal damage to our vehicles or equipment is irresponsible and an unnecessary drain on public funds”.

The service added that it is “committed to providing a safe and effective level of cover on Shetland at all times” – demonstrated by the recruitment of six additional members of staff to increase cover.

Changes have also been made to the training programme for community first responder schemes to “enhance clinical skills” of the localised volunteers who often attend emergencies before paramedics.

“This network of first responders, together with co-responding arrangements with NHS clinicians on the more remote islands, further complements our team of highly skilled technicians and paramedics on Shetland,” the ambulance service spokesperson said.

“The service also recognises that communities with the right equipment and skills are the most resilient and can help save lives in the crucial early minutes before an ambulance arrives.

“Our national community resilience manager recently visited Shetland with his team to work with local communities to establish sustainable solutions to the challenges posed by Shetland’s unique geography.

“These include additional community first responder schemes in Sandwick and Bixter, CPR training and the promotion of public access defibrillators.”