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Emergency services / Joined up response to recent serious car crashes hailed as ‘absolutely fantastic’

THE COLLABORATIVE nature of the emergency services in Shetland has been praised following two serious road accidents in the isles.

Local fire chief Matt Mason said as per new guidelines fire fighters drove an ambulance to hospital from the scene of a crash near Sandwick to allow paramedics to deal with casualties in the back.

Mason also praised the joined-up working in response to a recent road accident in the North Mainland.

The road was closed at the north Sandwick junction earlier this month following a significant crash.

Meanwhile later on in August there was a one-vehicle accident in Voe which saw a crash barrier cut through part of the car.

People were taken to hospital in both incidents.

Mason said in the Sandwick accident all emergency services were present.

“I think it’s worth stating that part of that joined up working will naturally benefit the casualty,” he said.

The fire chief added that a GP and a nurse who happened to be held up in traffic also offered their assistance.

Describing the benefits of joined-up working, Mason said staff at the scene were able to phone ahead to the Gilbert Bain Hospital, which for instance could decide on holding back planned surgeries to ensure the accident victims would be accommodated.

Scottish Ambulance Service’s local team leader Drew Mayhew also praised the response to the Sandwick crash.

“It was absolutely fantastic joined up working – the communication, the patient care, the extrication of the patient…everything was really, really good,” he said.

Mayhew said the fire fighters driving an ambulance was “absolutely crucial for us at high impact incidents like these”.

During the meeting the fire and ambulance services sharing a station in Lerwick was hailed as a “benchmark” for Scotland.

Board chairman Alastair Cooper and fellow councillor Allison Duncan praised the collaborative approach.

“When all is said and done we depend on one another,” Cooper said.

Meanwhile the board was told that Mason has been promoted to a wider role within the fire service.

However, he will remain based in Shetland while working on the job.

The fire service aims to have Mason’s replacement in place sometime in September.

Cooper and Duncan passed on their congratulations to Mason on his new role.