Vital minutes in a life-threatening situation can be lost when ambulance crews are looking for houses in the dark and, when somebody’s life is on the line, minutes can mean the difference between life and death.
In cases of sudden cardiac arrest, the likelihood of surviving decreases by 10% with every minute that passes without defibrillation and, thanks to the NHS’ Act FAST campaign, it’s well known that people who have experienced a stroke have a better chance of full recovery the quicker they receive treatment.
To help the ambulance service find you, check your house number is visible from the road in the dark, switch on outside lights, make sure there are no bushes or fences blocking the view and that it is noticeable when cars and vans park outside and, if your house has a name, display the number as well.
Ambulance resources are equipped with sat-nav systems to help them locate properties but if the house number can’t be quickly identified, clinicians spend vital time looking for clues on the street including numbers on neighbouring properties and rubbish bins.
Other ways you can help emergency services find you include:
– Ensure children know how to say their address and how to contact the ambulance service as soon as they are able to.
– Smart phones can plot exact location co-ordinates in their map facilities, take some time to see how this works on your device.
– Take notice of motorway markers, junctions and road signs so that you can explain where you are – don’t just rely on the sat-nav.
– Look out for small blue driver location signs every 500 metres on motorways and some major A roads. Providing the details written on the sign nearest to the emergency will help crews get to you.
As always, only dial 999 in the event of a life-threatening emergency.
(Image taken by Paramedic Simon Walton)