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Don’t pull train’s emergency cord if there is a medical emergency, Greater Anglia passengers told

PUBLISHED: 15:39 12 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:43 12 October 2017

A Greater Anglia train. Picture: ARCHANT

A Greater Anglia train. Picture: ARCHANT

Train passengers using Greater Anglia services are being asked not to pull the emergency cord if there is a medical emergency on board.

The rail operator have teamed up with the region’s ambulance service and given a new process – which will see control rooms work together to reach sick passengers as quickly as possible – the go ahead.

Bosses are warning that if a passenger pulls the emergency cord, the train may stop between stations.

They say this could make the service inaccessible for a conventional ambulance.

According to chiefs, medical help will arrive more quickly at a station, where the passenger can be taken off the train and treated.

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, passengers are being asked to dial 999 for an ambulance.

They are also encouraged to let staff on board know and contact Greater Anglia on Twitter.

A spokesman for the service said: “Pulling the emergency cord or pressing the emergency button to stop the train not only means that the ill passenger has to wait longer for medical assistance, but it also causes delays to the train service, which can sometimes lead to people on other delayed trains becoming ill.

Last year, trains were delayed by the equivalent of seven days due to passengers becoming ill on trains on the Greater Anglia network.”

Train service delivery director Richard Dean added: “We want the best for our customers – and this includes making sure that if they fall ill on a train they get help as soon as possible.

“This is the first time we’ve worked in this way with the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST).

“I’m sure this new way of working will be much better for all of our customers – those who fall ill as well as those caught up in consequent delays.”

Gary Morgan, deputy director of service delivery for EEAST, said the ambulance service is for emergencies such as cardiac arrests, severe burns, unconsciousness and traumatic injuries.

He added: “During a life-threatening emergency it is important to stay calm and take actions that will help the patient.

“Pulling the emergency cord and stopping the train between stations will make it more difficult for ambulance staff to reach the patient.

“If you call 999 for a medical emergency, please listen to and answer the questions asked by the emergency call handler as this will enable us to send the nearest and most appropriate response and provide advice on what to do until the ambulance service arrives.

“The ambulance service is for emergencies such as cardiac arrests, patients with chest pain or breathing difficulties, traumatic injuries, severe allergic reactions, chokings, severe burns and unconsciousness.”

What do you think of the new strategy? Send your views to newsroom@archant.co.uk

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