In researching the front-line lifesavers for this site, I came across this Guardian article about Health & Safety regulations for emergency services.
It’s not something one thinks of straight away, is it? In practice it makes total sense: a dangerous job needs a set of rules to keep staff safe. But has it gone too far? Policemen prevented from jumping in rivers to save drowning members of the public – what kind of emergency lifesaving is that?
But are these rules really necessary for people to stay out of harm’s way? Can emergency services personnel be relied on to make an independent judgement call when the stakes are so high? Or is that simply what they’re trained to do?
I think that Barbara Ellen is right – an emergency services hotline is not a bad idea. Huge burdens are placed on emergency service workers, lives literally depend on them, – the staff may need the advice of someone detached from the situation once they get to the scene. Obviously a change in policy cannot completely wipe out human error but it is possible to make sure that fewer people die in agony because of red tape. What do you think?
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