I’ve had a few people asking about the area call system, so I’ll just give a quick rundown of it here.

One of our biggest problems, being a voluntary organisation, is that people have a Real Job to do when they’re not running over mountains saving lives. Most people have day jobs, so our response to callouts during a weekday can be very low. Back in the day, employers were happy to let people respond from work, but these days, most companies won’t do that – I happen to be one of the lucky ones. My company, Box UK [blatant plug!] allows me to respond to callouts during the day so long as I’m sensible – of course, the job comes first because it pays the bills. Despite this, in the more than 40 years that the team has been operating, I believe we’ve only failed to respond to one request for assistance due to lack of personnel – an astounding achievement if you consider what this involves.

So a few years ago the four teams in this area (Central Beacons, Western Beacons, Brecon and Longtown) decided to try a different arrangement. Usually the police would contact one team and that team would request assistance as it saw fit. Under the new system, for certain calls, instead of paging the team out the incident controller would page out a message to every member of all 4 teams simultaneously advising them of the call with some basic details and a location for the RV. At the moment, area calls are limited to calls where there is a casualty at a known location – searches are not candidates for area calls. Also, the pager is activated in a different way – instead of getting the “111” warning message, we often only get the actual area call itself. Of course, if it’s our team that’s called by the police (like the callout on Saturday) then we still get the 111 message from our IC.

The system has proved a resounding success – wherever in South Wales a casualty is, it’s likely that within 10 minutes of the message being paged they’ll have people on-scene, and within 20 minutes or so there’s usually several vehicles and quite a few personnel there to arrange the evacuation. It’s a great system that works very well in our area.

Blarg, my tonsillitis is back – I really need to hit this on the head, I can’t deal with 3 months of on and off tonsillitis.

One Response to “The area call system”

  1. bronchitikat says:

    You know, that is brilliant, specially given the terrain etc. Better than the response times for ambulances sometimes – & they get to travel on metalled roads & they’re paid!

    w00t for volunteer services!