Villagers concerned over response times of emergency crews
VILLAGERS want reassurance from the emergency services that they can meet national response times after a pensioner suffered a heart attack while he waited for an ambulance.
The ambulance called to treat 77-year-old Walter Law was forced to take a 25-minute detour into Mapperley after discovering a road was closed.
The delay was caused by the fact that Shipley Lane, which runs through Shipley Park and connects Mapperley with Heanor, was controversially gated in October 2007.
Residents raised concerns at a meeting of Mapperley Parish Council last night and it was decided the council would write to all three emergency services to ask if they were able to match national response times for getting to the village.
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Chairman Darren Flint said: "If they cannot guarantee to meet them, we should forward that information to Derbyshire County Council and ask it what it intends to do about it."
The incident involving Mr Law happened in July, when he woke up feeling unwell and asked his wife, Joan, to call for an ambulance, which she did at 2.45am.
A paramedic arrived within minutes by car, with an ambulance dispatched at about 3.10am. But the driver did not know Shipley Lane was shut and the ambulance was forced to take a different route.
While this was happening, Mr Law's heart stopped and the paramedic used a defibrillator to restart it.
Afterwards, Mr Law's family called for the road to be temporarily reopened while a review was carried out into access for emergency services.
These calls were echoed at last night's meeting.
Kevin Cook, of Mapperley, said: "We are all as vulnerable as each other and it worries me.
"We would like to see response times before and after the gate was closed.
"An easy fix to me would be to open the gate until these problems are sorted."
Helen Cook, also of Mapperley, said: "As a mother, it does nothing to reassure me when I know that ambulances and police officers have to go all the way round and unlock gates to get in."
One resident, who did not want to be named, said: "The man who had a heart attack was lucky, the next person might not be so lucky."
Derbyshire County Council, which closed the road, had issued gate keys to police and firefighters allowing them to use the road. But East Midlands Ambulance Service decided this was not practical due to the number of drivers and the fact they work across several counties.
It is not clear why the ambulance attempted to use Shipley Lane. It is believed the crew was using a satellite navigation system, but East Midlands Ambulance Service was unable to confirm this.
Representatives from Derbyshire police and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue attended the meeting. No one from East Midlands Ambulance Service attended.