In the Evening Standard tonight, page 1 leads with an article on British Transport Police being deployed as emergency response medics in order to cut delays.

Seemingly an interesting concept, with 20 officers who, with two cars, they will respond to medical emergencies on the tube network, in order to help cut delays to train services when a passenger is taken ill.

LUL management state that the medics will ‘…get to the scene first and make a decision on whether to move the passenger and get the network moving’. Is it just me or am I the only on scared by this? A paramedic, by virtue of their training, can make that decision, as can a EMT. They have a defined clinical responsibility and professional accountability.

No offence to a police medic, but they don’t have this accountability.

Picture the scene: a passenger collapses with centralised chest pains and shortness of breath.

Diagnosis please?

Several pot entails come to mind. The obvious is a cardiac related one. Perhaps an MI? Angina? Or, a panic attack caused by the cattle like conditions we are enforced to endure on a daily basis?

Can you, as an untrained person tell what is happening to this passenger? More to the point, will the police medics have a 12 lead and do a definitive reading BEFORE walking the passenger through the train and onto the platform?

Will London Ambulance delay responding until the police medics are on scene?

What happens if, upon arriving to assess this passenger, a serious crime is committed to which as a warranted police officer, they have to respond and deal with?

The questions go on and on.

Actually, I think it is a brilliant starting point for a solution, but is not the answer.

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