Fleet News

Ambulance Service to recruit driver trainers to cut £400,000 accident bill

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is recruiting four driving instructors to train 999 frontline staff after its accident costs soared to between £300,000 and £400,000 a year.

Nicky Fothergill, clinical education manager and driving lead, EMAS, said: "Our staff are often driving in high-risk situations and accidents are not always their fault.
"When people see blue lights and hear a siren, they can react unpredictably and in ways our staff can't always anticipate.
"There are things we can do to help and one is spotting any problems which could lead to something – like making sure drivers are reversing properly – before they happen.

"And these driving instructors will be able to help us do that because, while we have people doing this at the moment, some are operational paramedics and others are tutors – both of whom have other responsibilities too."

The Nottingham Post reported that, between April 2013 and March this year, there were 404 incidents involving ambulance vehicles which EMAS reported to its insurers.

There were 462 incidents in the previous 12 months and, so far this financial year up to May, there have been 65. These include instances where ambulance vehicles have clipped mirrors, hit parked cars or reserved incorrectly.

"The number of times where vehicles have hit stationary objects has increased, as has the number of incidents where the vehicle was reserving.

"But the amount of times vehicles are clipping mirrors and hitting third-party vehicles has gone down, while incidents where the handbrake has not been applied correctly are about the same."

Fothergill added the service was looking to introduce regular refresher training, and continue driver education.

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  • Alan Scott-Davies - 09/07/2014 15:21

    I've been delivering Legal Presentations to 'Fleet Drivers' for years, from those who drive cars, vans, coaches, buses and up to LGVs. One thing I've discovered is that reducing accident rates is not simply achieved by practical driving assessments. Classroom work is just as important and part of that should include an understanding of the legal responsibilities that Ambulance Personnel have to other road users. I'm proud to be working with Muller Wiseman Dairies by delivering legal presentations to the Directors downwards and it is having very positive results. I am one of the guest speakers at the National Blue Light Users' Conference, organised by AIRSO, in August. With 120 emergency services driver trainers in the audience I hope some of them will be from the East Midlands Ambulance Service. www.legal-lifeboat.co.uk

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