Monday, 25 March 2013

Snow, snow and more snow and Ambulance Stations.

Snow, snow and more snow and Ambulance Stations.

Well if you haven't been watching the television, listening to the radio or just opening your curtains you may have missed the fact that the High Peak has been in the grip of quite arctic conditions. As usual for a modern western country, everything ground to a halt and everyone with a Facebook page or Twitter account (very guilty of this myself) announced that the snow had come, schools and roads were closed and no one could get anywhere. Just in case any of their Facebook friends didn't have a window to look out of.

I have to admit it's the first time that I have seen the A6 from Buxton to Dove Holes closed for so long.

Sky News did manage to get to Buxton and report on a crash on this part of the road. Sky News

People checked on their neighbours, elderly or otherwise, people emailed the local weather station webpage with traffic reports and local weather conditions Buxton Weather. As well as contacting the local radio station with how they were struggling to get through anywhere. And interesting point was the fact that regardless of how good your 4-wheel drive maybe. If you drive past a 'road closed' sign then you invalidate your insurance. So if you hit anything you pay for it.
A6 Buxton to Dove Holes Sat 23/03/13 around 19:45hrs

The wind seems to have been a problem, no sooner have the ploughing and gritting teams cleared a stretch of road than 15 minutes later the wind has replaced the cleared drifts with brand new ones. I do feel a certain amount of sympathy for the ploughing teams as they have had quite an extensive King Canute battle with the weather over the past few days. As well as having their lives put at risk by people ignoring 'road closed' signs. It has snowed for nearly 72 hours none stop. As the clouds have cleared there is a chance for everyone to get back on top of things, however, the BBC have said that there maybe more snow before the end of the week!
Here's some photos of the weekend.

Buxton Town Hall
Pavillion Gardens, Buxton


A6 Buxton-Dove Holes

Ploughing the A6 Buxton-Dove Holes
The mountain rescue teams from Edale, Buxton and Derby have all been busy, helping where they can. They assisted Derbyshire Police on friday night on the A515 Buxton - Ashbourne road, with many driver stuck due to snowdrifts or jack knifed lorries. On Sunday they assisted EMAS and the police helicopter in getting to a lady who had broken both her wrists in a fall.

Chief Inspector Tracy Harrisson said   “We would like to thank mountain rescue teams and all local volunteers for their valued assistance in helping to clear the roads and keep motorists safe, especially at a time when emergency services are stretched due to the volume of calls.”

They have also rescued farmers who were snowed in and running out of fuel as well as people staying in holiday cottages who had run out of food. Buxton Mountain Rescue Edale Mountain Rescue

A big thank you from me as well.

EMAS East Midlands Ambulance Service

East Midlands Ambulance service have now decided what they are going to do with the stations in the High Peak area. They are going to keep a station in the High Peak. They met stiff opposition to their proposals EMAS 'Being the Best' from people throughout the High Peak area. As well as the wider area of the East Midlands ITV Controversial Ambulance Talks

The details are that they will keep a High Peak ambulance station, where this is or how it will be manned is not revealed.

They have different levels of 'station'.

There are ambulance hubs where ambulances can start and finish their shifts, along with make ready crews, mechanics, deep clean teams if anything needs addressing.

Then there are ambulance stations where ambulances are garaged and start and finish their shifts.

Then there are community ambulance stations which are nothing like they sound, they are just standby points, comments on the Buxton Advertisers web page that there are currently not enough staff or vehicles to cover all the areas throughout the East Midlands Buxton Advertiser

There will be 9 hubs, 19 ambulance stations and 108 community ambulance stations throughout the East Midlands area.

There are three standby points sorry Community Ambulance Stations in the High Peak, one in Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith and one in New Mills. Does this mean that the High Peak ambulance stations will only have three ambulances? EMAS doesn't appear to be saying.

Currently in New Mills there is a patient carrying ambulance (what EMAS refers to as a DCA, I don't know what it stands for) and a 4x4 car. In Buxton there are three ambulances and another 4x4 car. So if we have just three ambulances or perhaps three (and watch the wording here) ambulance vehicles that's half the number we already have. Not quite sure how that is going to improve patient care. If one of the patient carrying ambulances is swapped for a response car I'm sure the response times will improve which will make things look good for EMAS. However, if you need transporting to hospital quick sharp it's not much use.

Before all the campaigners start celebrating the victory of keeping their ambulances in the High Peak area, I think checking out the small print first would be good.

With the recent events I'm sure EMAS have factored into their decision that we need more not less cover in the High Peak area. And if Dove Holes is your choice of location for the ambulance station Mr Milligan EMAS Chief then check out the photo's above and see how the response times may fall even further (currently 73% for Buxton, should be 75%) if positioned there.

Looking at a map in Nottingham all very well and good but it doesn't beat knowing the local geography.

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