"unnecessary running engines"

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

(as other),

hi there,

I travel daily on the Kingswear to Dartmouth Higher ferry and I find it shocking that your ambulance drivers think it's necessary to keep their engines running for upto 10 minutes whilst waiting on the ferry, specially as since they board the ferry they switch it off during the crossing which lasts only 4 minutes, you as a health organisation should know that pollution affects our health as any other....

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Response from Laura Martin, Patient Engagement Administrator, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service

picture of Laura Martin

Dear tommyt

I understand your concerns with regard to unnecessary impact on the environment. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible. We have a specific Environmental Management Group which works with all staff to raise awareness and offer advice on ways to reduce the impact we have on the environment both at work and in our personal lives.

Our vehicles contain a lot of vital life saving and monitoring equipment like defibrillators (used to deliver a ‘shock’ to patients in cardiac arrest) and ECG equipment (used to monitor patient heart rate and blood pressure). There is also the on-vehicle communications system which is the main method of communication between our control centres, crews and hospitals. Furthermore, it is also important that all passengers on board the vehicles are kept warm and comfortable during any journey. The batteries for all this equipment are charged by the vehicles engine which also keeps the temperature inside the vehicle comfortable.

In order to ensure that we can offer the best care to our patients we need to ensure all of our equipment is fully charged and available for use at all times. So there are times when vehicles need to run their engines, and this is particularly important when there will be a period of time when the engine must remain switched off, such as when travelling on the ferry.

I hope that I have been able to answer your concerns, but if you would like more information on our activities to reduce our carbon footprint please visit our website – www.swast.nhs.uk.

Kind regards


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