Posted: Monday 12th March 2018
It’s been one of the coldest and most challenging weeks I can remember. While most of us have tried where possible to remain indoors, our army of emergency services workers have had to confront the full force of nature, delivering urgent medical care, undertaking rescues and safety patrols to protect people and save lives. A job that is incredibly difficult to do when so many Nottinghamshire homes and roads were snow-ridden, inaccessible and perilous.
I’ve heard many stories of emergency services workers including police officers, paramedics and firefighters going above and beyond the call of duty to help people across Nottinghamshire’s communities and I want to take this opportunity to praise them for their commitment and professionalism.
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going and we’ve really seen that in action. The East Midlands Ambulance Service set up a 24-hour Strategic Command Cell to coordinate its services to get patients the emergency medical care they needed. Clearly, the very poor and treacherous road conditions made a speedy response difficult and a huge amount of work took place behind the scenes to deliver critical care as safely as possible. This included ensuring ambulance vehicles were fully-fuelled and stocked with snow socks and shovels, making arrangements for staff to change their reporting base if they struggled to get to their usual shift start location, 4x4 transport to pick staff up in worst-affected areas and the deployment of ambulance service managers to some hospitals to ensure ambulance crews could return to their vehicle for the next emergency as soon as possible.
Mansfield and Ashfield police officers, volunteers and PCSOs were out on duty as normal, braving temperatures of -5C to help residents in need. There were several collisions in Mansfield and in Newark which kept police very busy.
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service deployed its crews to check on the elderly and clear paths at care homes but firstly they had to remove the snow outside their own stations to be able to deal with emergencies. At least one firefighter drove people home after their vehicle broke down showing nothing’s too much trouble for our firefighters. Another set off at 3.30am from his house – on-foot – to ensure he was at his station for a prompt 7am start!
We always turn to our emergency services in a real crisis but this week they’ve faced the same travel problems as the rest of us. The difficult job they do really shines out in these situations and they’ve been wonderfully positive and upbeat despite the cold. Nottinghamshire’s Police Dogs have particularly enjoyed the white stuff, with the odd snowball fight to keep their handlers on their toes!
Hopefully warmer weather or dare I say it – spring – is only around the corner. And if it’s not we’ve got a truly dedicated and hardworking team ready to come to the rescue.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner