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New home falls response service for vulnerable people in Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) and the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) are working together on a new activity aimed at improving lives.

This new trial is being delivered by our Prevention team who will be responding to vulnerable people who fall in their homes. Delivering this new service means that we can support EEAST at a really crucial time, as we step into the busy winter season and help relieve added pressures for the NHS.

The team have been trained by EEAST, with the skills required to the level of Community First Responders. This falls service will operate during the working week, complementing the range of safety activities our staff are already delivering in that time. Whilst complementing the response already provided by EEAST colleagues, BFRS will also be able to refer people to our Safe and Well scheme which provides home fire safety advice to members of our communities as part of the service.

Some falls may just need people to be helped to their feet or a chair and checked to ensure they’re safe to be left at home. Others that have fallen are more serious and patients will need to be transported to hospital for further treatment. Our staff will be able to make an appropriate assessment, in communication with staff at EEAST, and ensure that essential Ambulance services are best utilised.

Homes, Roads and Leisure Safety Manager, Stuart Auger said: “We are rolling out this Falls Response Programme across Bedfordshire with the commitment of our existing community-based safety staff. This programme involves our fire and rescue teams helping to provide an effective response to certain types of incident, to complement the role that our Ambulance service already provides. Where we are able to provide a more timely response, we will be there to assist. We are trained to assist the patient from the floor and undertake an assessment of their needs. This is then discussed with a clinician in the Ambulance control room to ensure the patient can be safely left in their home.”

Head of Response, Ade Yule said: “This trial enables us to further develop the collaborative opportunities with our emergency service colleagues, which ultimately help to make people feel safer.  The commitment of our staff to this activity from the very early discussions through to starting to respond has been great to see. Whilst it’s only a small team at this stage, we believe that we will be able to effectively contribute to helping those people who need assistance.”