Coastguard and ambulance service come together to reduce response times

EEAST and HM Coastguard staff with one of their response vehicle at its new home at Saxmundham Ambulance Station

EEAST and Her Majesty’s Coastguard are trialling an initiative which aims to improve response times to search and rescue missions on the north east Suffolk coast.

One of HM Coastguard’s six response vehicles in Suffolk has been based at Saxmundham Ambulance Station from this summer and this new location is expected to significantly cut response times to incidents on the coast.

This co-location will also improve joint working between HM Coastguard and the ambulance service, and embraces the collaborative working promoted in programmes introduced by JESIP, the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles.

Set up in 2012, JESIP’s initial focus was on improving response to major incidents, but its five joint working principles and models can be applied to any type of multi-agency incident.

Craig King, resilience manager for Suffolk at EEAST, said: “This initiative encompasses all the principles of the JESIP and I am delighted to see this joined-up approach that will benefit the public.”

Steve Colmer, acting general manager for east Suffolk at EEAST, said: “I look forward to strengthening what is already an excellent working relationship with our colleagues from the Coastguard and this will be a mutually beneficial arrangement for both of the services and, most of all, for the public.”

Michael Hickey, senior coastguard operations officer at HM Coastguard, said: "HM Coastguard’s operational capacity and capability to attend search and rescue incidents in north east Suffolk and elsewhere will be enhanced as a result of our new partnership with the East of England Ambulance Service.

“The excellent location base of the Saxmundham Ambulance Station will help us to respond to calls more quickly than before, given vehicle access to and from the station is very good.

“We look forward to hopefully a very successful trial period this summer with our emergency service partners.”

Monday 03 August 2020

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