Emergency moves will cost LIVES

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First responders struggling to cope with increased pressure are quitting their volunteer roles – and it is only going to get worse.

In an interview with the Rasen Mail LIVES first responder Sue Noel-Hiles revealed volunteers have “given up” because they felt overwhelmed.

And Sue thinks plans to close ambulance stations will make the problem even worse in many areas.

Sue, who is based in Grasby, said: “First responders are going to be called upon more often – and for more diverse groups of problems.

“There will be groups that get a great deal more pressure. There just aren’t enough ambulance stations. I know people who’ve given up because they just felt overwhelmed.”

Just last week Sue was called to an emergency in South Kelsey where a woman was thought to have a serious back injury. She arrived within 15 minutes but it was three hours before the patient got to hospital.

But Sue does not blame ambulance crews. “They’re just trying to do the best they can with what they’re given,” she said.

Proposals put forward by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) would see the closure of the majority of stations across the region – including Market Rasen.

If plans are approved our entire area would be served by a ‘hub’ based in Elsham.

Sue said when she joined LIVES ten years ago the county needed 500 stations to get to every emergency on time - at the time there were 150. If EMAS’s plans are approved Lincolnshire will be left with just 13 hubs and several ‘ Tactical Deployment Points’ for ambulances. A public consultation is due to end in December.