WEST Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) firefighters will now respond to non-emergency calls to falls for the elderly and vulnerable in a new pilot scheme.
The 24-hour scheme will focus on the Coventry area and has been implemented following discussions with colleagues at Coventry City Council Telecare service.
Telecare is a community alarm that provides a response service for vulnerable and older members of the community who are prone to falls.
Users raise an alert from a range of sensors and detectors within their home.
Once an alert has been raised with the Telecare call centre they will conduct an assessment to determine the level of response.
Should they decide that a non-injury falls response is required, contact will be made with WMFS Fire Control who will arrange for a Brigade Response Vehicle (BRV) to attend.
BRVs from the Coventry City area, Solihull, Hay Mills and Sheldon will primarily be used.
Phil Loach, chief fire officer for the West Midlands Fire Service said: “Being commissioned to provide this type of work provides a fantastic opportunity to help the most vulnerable members of our community.
“We will also reduce risk by providing our comprehensive safe and well visits to people that really need them and help reduce hospital admissions, freeing up beds and access to vital services and reducing the overall cost to the public purse.
“Our BRV is the perfect vehicle for this purpose, allowing fire engines to attend life threatening incidents within five minutes as we know that this fast response saves lives and reduces injuries and damage to the community.”
Coun Bally Singh, lead Coventry member on West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “The Take Care Pilot is a great example of how the professionalism of the West Midlands Fire Service can help get the job done.
“I hope this can show a new way forward for local services to work even more collaboratively for the common good.”