SKILL SHARE: Esk Police Acting Officer-in-charge Sergeant Luke Rowley is eager to get local emergency departments to share their skills with one another.
SKILL SHARE: Esk Police Acting Officer-in-charge Sergeant Luke Rowley is eager to get local emergency departments to share their skills with one another.

Somerset cop’s idea set to shake up emergency response

ON SCENE at an Esk house fire, one Somerset policeman found himself helping the fireys out, carrying hoses and trying to fit one to a standpoint.

Completely new to the task, it gave him an idea which could revolutionise how emergency services work together.

“I was carrying hoses and trying to fit a hose to a standpoint – and I had never done that before,” Esk Police Acting Officer-in-charge Sergeant Luke Rowley said.

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“I thought, if we were able to cross train our staff for some of these basic duties, it would only make it easier for the responding emergency service to carry out their role.”

He said there was a piece of equipment paramedics used, which had “lots of levers and buttons”.

“To be able to operate that for them, rather than having to keep asking how it works, if that helps them even just a bit, it’s only going to benefit the patient,” he said.

That’s why Esk Police are working to organise a series of training sessions for fireys, ambos and cops.

“What we’re trying to do is basically create an opportunity for some of those overlapping tasks we undertake,” he said.

“We can familiarise ourselves a bit better with the processes and equipment that the other services have.”

He said because first respondents often worked together at emergency scenes, understanding the basics of how to use one another’s equipment could help streamline teamwork.

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“Sometimes, I’ll be at a traffic crash and I have to use the fireys to do traffic control or I’ll need them to secure a piece of evidence – it’s things like that,” he said.

“And sometimes I might have to work with the ambos and operate some of their equipment or hand them something.

“Sometimes we’re having to ask what or where something is and there’ve been a number of times we have gone through the fire truck to look for a piece of kit to hand to a firey.”

Read more stories by Ebony Graveur.


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