Latest News
Man crushed by forklift credits SAS for saving his life
Monday 11 March 2019

A man crushed by a forklift and left in “unbearable” pain after his organs collapsed says the swift response by the Scottish Ambulance Service saved his life.

Gordon Taylor, 55, of Cowdenbeath, was working at a paper mill in Leslie when the horrific accident happened.

Gordon was working for an engineering company, based in Kirkcaldy, and had been contracted out to work at the mill for the day.

Read more here

Latest News
Scottish Ambulance Service clinical model credited with saving 43% more lives
Wednesday 20 February 2019

A new emergency response system which prioritises how the Scottish Ambulance Service responds to its sickest patients has resulted in an additional 1182 patients surviving life threatening illness and injury in the first year since the system was launched.

Find out more

Latest News
Dad's thanks to SAS after cardiac arrest at station
Wednesday 16 January 2019

A dad who suffered a cardiac arrest in the middle of Waverley Station has offered a heartfelt thanks to the Scottish Ambulance Service crew who saved his life.

Donald Scott, 47, of Duddingston, near Portobello, was walking through the station towards the Old Town to attend a Fringe Festival show with friends.

Read more here




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Latest News
Dad's message of thanks after coin drama
Thursday 13 December 2018

Dad Steve Chisholm, of Dunfermline, said he has been “really touched” by the Scottish Ambulance Service after his one-year-old daughter Maggie was taken to hospital after getting a pound coin stuck in her throat.

And in a further lovely touch, Kim Millar, one of the paramedics who took care of Maggie, returned a few weeks after the...

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Latest News
Man who 'dies twice' thanks SAS crew
Friday 16 November 2018

A company director who ‘died’ twice has sent a heartfelt thanks to the two Perth emergency responders who brought him back to life.

Matthew Rooney, 59, suffered a heart attack at his Newburgh house before going on to have two cardiac arrests.

The director of Client Liaison KN Group has credited paramedic Nathan Thomson, 25, and te...

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Calling 999
 

When to call 999

You should always call 999 if someone is seriously injured or their life is at risk

Some examples of medical emergencies include:

  • chest pain;
  • breathing difficulty;
  • unconsciousness;
  • severe loss of blood;
  • severe burns or scalds;
  • fitting or concussion;
  • drowning;
  • severe allergic reactions;
  • choking;
  • a child with sudden unexpected symptoms.

If it is not a life threatening of serious emergency you should consider other options before dialling 999.
These could include:

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When you call us

When you call 999 an operator will ask which emergency service you need. If it’s a medical emergency, ask for the ambulance service and you will be put through to one of our call takers.

What information will I need?

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • the phone number that you are calling from;
  • the address where you are, including postcode, if possible;
  • what has happened.

As soon as we know where you are, help will be on its way to you.

You will also be asked to give some additional information such as:

  • the patient’s age, sex and medical history;
  • whether the patient is conscious, breathing and if there is any bleeding or chest pain;
  • details of the injury and how it happened.

Answering these questions does not delay the response, but helps us to give you important first aid advice while the ambulance is on its way.

The extra information also helps to make sure that we send the most appropriate help to you.

What can I do before help arrives?

Before the ambulance arrives, you can help us by doing the following:

  • if you are outside, stay with the patient until help arrives;
  • call us back if the patient’s condition worsens;
  • call us again if your location changes;
  • if you are calling from home or work, ask someone to open the doors and signal to ambulance staff where they are needed;
  • lock away any family pets;
  • if you can, write down the patient’s GP details and collect any medication that they are taking;
  • tell us if the patient has any allergies;
  • stay calm – our staff are there to help. Violence or threatening behaviour will not be tolerated and could delay getting help to the patient.

How can I be prepared for an emergency?

There are things that you can do today to help us in the future:

  • check that your house number can be seen from the road;
  • if you live on an estate, check that there is a clear sign to direct emergency services and that the lifts are working.
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Who will treat you

As soon as we have enough information and we believe you need immediate medical treatment, we will send help.

There are a number of ways in which we respond, depending on the circumstances:

Emergency Ambulance

Frontline emergency ambulances with a crew of two, one of which will be a paramedic, respond to the majority of emergency calls. Ambulance Technicians and Paramedics are trained to deal with life threatening illnesses and injuries. We carry a full range of medical equipment on our ambulances, including electrocardiogram (ECG) machines to monitor a patient’s heart and defibrillators which can restart the heart if a patient goes into cardiac arrest.

Paramedic Response Unit (PRU)

Paramedic Response Units are normally crewed by a paramedic working on their own. They will go to patients by car or motorcycle and carry all of the life saving equipment needed in a medical emergency. In life threatening situations, they can provide a vital, fast response and they will be backed up by an emergency ambulance that can take you to hospital.

Special Operations Team (SORT)

Specialised Paramedics, Technicians and Logistics Staff trained to gain access and administer care for patients in hazardous or difficult environments and at the scene of major incidents. SORT also deploy to provide paramedical support for other agencies involved in potentially hazardous environments.

Community Paramedics

These are paramedics who have undertaken extra clinical training. They are able to thoroughly investigate a patient’s condition and situation and then make a qualified decision about the best way to progress their treatment. They often work with minor injuries units and out of hours doctor services and can refer patients to the most appropriate care if a visit to hospital is not required.

Air Ambulance

We operate two emergency helicopters and two fixed wing planes. They are often asked to assist at incidents where there may problems with inaccessible terrain or where a very fast evacuation to hospital is preferable to a journey by road ambulance.

Community First Responders

These are members of the community who have been trained to provide first aid and other medical skills while the ambulance is on its way to you. They are able to deliver treatments that are time critical, such as using a shock box in cardiac cases.

BASICS Scotland Responders (British Association of Immediate Care)

BASICS Responders are Doctor's, Nurses and Paramedics who have received additional Pre-Hospital Emergency Training through BASICS Scotland. Each of the Responders are provided with a Sandpiper Medical/Trauma Response bag and access to a Defibrillator. Many Responders have also been issued with an Ambulance Service Airwave Radio and a Vehicle Locater System to allow contact and best resourcing via their Emergency Medical Dispatch Centre.

Paramedic Clinical Advisor

If the incident is not life threatening, you may be passed by telephone to one of our Paramedic Clinical Advisors, or to NHS 24, who will give you assistance or point you in the right direction for help.

Whatever your reason for calling us, the Emergency Medical Call Taker who answers your call will ensure that you receive the most appropriate response and liaise with other services and professionals where necessary.

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