The Dementia and Emergency Services Collaborative held their first collaborative event on the 5th. of October which brought together representatives of Scotland’s Emergency Services and first responders. There was a general buzz in the air as they learned together about dementia from Mr Henry Rankin, a former police officer, who has dementia. Participants also experienced the fire simulator and toured the Safe and Well House at Scottish Fire and Rescue Service headquarters in Cambuslang.
Supported by the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice (ASCPP) at UWS and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the Dementia and Emergency Services collaborative arose from members of the emergency services identifying a need to develop their knowledge and skills in working with people with dementia in emergency situations.
Representatives from Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Scottish Ambulance Community First Responders, Mountain Rescue Teams, NHS Emergency Departments and Purple Alert, all participated in this learning afternoon.
Henry Simmons the CEO of Alzheimer Scotland said “…this is an exciting event and, as far as I am aware, the first opportunity across Europe to bring together these key members of the community of support, that will ensure the person living with dementia is enabled to remain in their own home as long as possible”.
Professor Debbie Tolson of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, said she was “…delighted at the success of the event and commended the team at ASCPP and Scottish Fire and Rescue for their impressive work and vision. The University team look forward to working with the Emergency Services and Alzheimer Scotland to build upon this work to ensure that people with dementia feel protected and safe”.
Karen Wilson, Dean of the School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery, said that “ …it is incredibly important that all services who come into contact with people with dementia understand how to communicate with clients and their families/carers and other professionals but nowhere is this more important than in an emergency situation. I am extremely proud of the work that the Alzheimer’s Scotland Centre does to support dementia knowledge and practice exchange, and thank everyone involved for participating in this unique event.”