How to Achieve Interoperability between Emergency Services

11/07/19

Emergency services are rarely thought of as a cohesive unit. In the eye of the public, at least, they remain separate and distinct organisations that have totally different jobs to do. 
Reality tells a different story, however. 
Often, when an incident occurs, it is crucial that the three branches of our emergency services can work together as a single entity. Often there is a challenge or obstacle to overcome that requires the experience and resources of each in turn, and only through genuine interoperability can we deliver consistently better outcomes to the public. 

Optimising emergency response

The police are often the first at the scene of an incident. This is due to their larger ground coverage and the routine nature of their area patrols. As a reflection of this broader safety training and education has been introduced. Due to this increased awareness and updates to build regulations the fire service is less stretched than ever before. There has been a 39% decrease in the last decade. The demand for ambulances, however, is rising alarmingly. 
Every second counts in an emergency. In the instance of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), every minute that passes without the correct attention reduces the survival rate by 10%. By the time 8-10 minutes have passed (the average response time for emergency services) the odds of survival are very low. 
This challenge for the UK’s ambulance services could be significantly reduced by equipping the other emergency services - police and fire departments - with connected Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs), along with first aid equipment. 
In 2018 we completed a successful trial between the Metropolitan Police Service and the London Ambulance Service. AEDs were supplied to London police vehicles and station offices. The results were faster response times and an additional seven lives saved in the first few months. Although the ambulance response is still crucial this proves that connection between the services can help to save lives. 

AED fleet management in practice

In order to achieve interoperability between the emergency services we can leverage the strengths of new technology. The Aero LIFEPAK CR2, for instance, which is used by London police, is connected to a centralised monitoring platform, allowing users to check device health, use history, as well as collecting key field data via WiFi or cellular connectivity, which can then be relayed to the ambulance and fire services. 

The Emergency Services Show 2019

Aero healthcare will be attending the Emergency Services Show at the NEC between the 18th-19th September. If you want to continue the discussion around interoperability and the emergency services come and visit us. 
You can request your pass for the show here.


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