New public safety officers complete first responder training

Published 7th Aug 2020

An innovative pilot for a new service to keep residents of North Yorkshire and York safe and feeling safe has taken another step forward as the public safety officers have now completed their first responder training with Yorkshire Ambulance Service.two public safety officers carrying out cpr on dummies with member of Yorkshire ambulance service

The Public Safety Service brings together a number of organisations, currently including North Yorkshire Police, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, to help prevent vulnerability, reduce harm and improve the safety and resilience of local communities. 

The scheme, which has been introduced by Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, is being piloted for 12 months in the Craven district with the intention of evaluating its impact and identifying other communities where it could be deployed in the future.

The two public safety officers, Lucy Osborn and Craig Lyons, who are working across all of these agencies, were appointed in February 2020 and are embedded to provide support and improve capacity to tackle issues before they become problematic.

They have now completed their first responder training with Yorkshire Ambulance Service. This means they have been trained in basic life support, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and will carry an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and oxygen, as well as basic first aid equipment. They will be able to attend medical emergencies in their community and provide vital care, comfort and reassurance before an ambulance reaches the scene, similar to the Trust’s community first responders.

They can be dispatched to emergency incidents at the same time as an ambulance and will not replace the usual emergency medical response from Yorkshire Ambulance Service. However, their location within local communities could mean they are nearer to the scene in those first critical minutes of a medical emergency, delivering life-saving care until an ambulance clinician arrives.

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “This is a great addition to the skills of the Public Safety Officers. When medical emergencies happen in these rural communities getting that emergency help quickly is vital. This will further help the local communities be safe and feel safe.”

James Webb, Group Station Manager (North Yorkshire) at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said:
“It’s great to have the public safety officers on board with their first responder training completed and, along with our many community first responders, they will make an extremely valuable contribution to local communities. We know that in many medical emergencies, such as a heart attack, breathing difficulties or a collapse, the first few minutes are critical so if effective treatment can be given within those first minutes, lives can be saved.”

Along with being first responders for medical emergencies, they are on-call firefighters at Bentham and Grassington. They are also part of the local policing team providing early intervention and monitoring antisocial behaviour, with a main part of their role being to provide crime prevention, fire safety and health and wellbeing information, and supporting community problem solving.