Joint emergency services team launched in South Yorkshire

LIFE team members (l-r) Steph Richardson, Ashley Taylor, Hayley Laurie and Jayne White
LIFE team members (l-r) Steph Richardson, Ashley Taylor, Hayley Laurie and Jayne White
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Police, paramedics and firefighters in South Yorkshire have teamed-up to reduce demand on 999 responders.

The Local Intervention and Falls Episodes (LIFE) team, will see fire and police staff visit hundreds of homes in the city to reduce fire risk in properties, improve security and reduce the risk of falls.

The team will also respond when there are high 999 call volumes, as well as to lower priority incidents.

Those incidents include helping residents who have had a fall, are not seriously injured, but are unable to get up on their own.

Their work will also involve carrying out welfare visits relating to low risk missing people and vulnerable people who are risk of anti-social behaviour.

The team will operate using two specialist vehicles and will consist of four staff - two South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue employees and two South Yorkshire Police community support officers (PCSOs).

The scheme has been funded by South Yorkshire Fire Authority for six months and researchers from the University of Huddersfield have been commissioned to evaluate its effectiveness. If successful, it could be extended and taken to other parts of South Yorkshire.

South Yorkshire Police Chief Inspector Jenny Lax, said: “This is an exciting and innovative way of working in collaboration to help reduce risk and vulnerability within our communities, and improve their quality of life.

Dr Steven Dykes, Deputy Medical Director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “This pilot is a good opportunity to explore how we can further develop partnership initiatives with our emergency service colleagues.”