Thankfully no-one was in submerged car, but what a waste of valuable resources

Car in Shropshire Union Canal

Tuesday 6th January 2015 – 12.35pm – Murray MacGregor.

A large number of ambulance, fire and police resources were tied up dealing with a completely preventable incident – a car that had gone into a canal in the Black Country.

Initially there were fears that there could have been someone inside the vehicle which was almost totally submerged.

The incident happened at about 7.10pm in the Shropshire Union Canal, Off Middlefield in Pendeford, Wolverhampton.

A rapid response vehicle, a paramedic officer, the Hazardous Area Response Team and the MERIT trauma doctor were all sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The initial call said that the car’s lights were on and the windscreen wipers were working which suggested there could have been someone inside.

“Firefighters were able to get a ladder across to the vehicle and an initial search revealed that no-one was trapped, but there were still concerns for any patients given the situation.

“While a more detailed search of the canal and car took place, the owner of the car was found nearby and appeared not to be involved; it was also confirmed that there was no-one inside the vehicle.

“Our concern is that while all these resources were tied up dealing with this completely avoidable situation, someone could have had a genuine need for help.

“At a time when we are extremely busy, this sort of incident is deeply disappointing.”
Ends

Written by officialwmas

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) covers a geographical area of approximately 5,000 square miles and serves a population of 5.6 million people living in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Coventry & Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the Birmingham & the Black Country conurbation. The Trust has a total number of 4000 members of staff and uses 864 vehicles.

2 comments

    1. Hi Patrick – thanks for your question. The HART team are trained in water rescue and also to search rivers, canals etc if required, hence their attendance. In regard to MERIT, clearly if there had been a patient inside the vehicle, there could easily have been a need for the advanced clinical skills that the MERIT doctor and critical care paramedic who travels with them at the scene e.g. anaesthetising the patient. Hope that explains things. Thanks again.

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