A HIGH number of life-threatening emergencies on the Isle of Wight has been blamed for delays in getting an ambulance to help a young boy who had been hit by a car today (Sunday).
The Isle of Wight Ambulance service has apologised for the delay in dealing with the incident, in which a five-year-old boy suffered a broken leg after being hit by a car.
A spokesman said: "At 11:40am, the Island’s Ambulance service was alerted that a five-year-old boy had run into a road in Ryde and had been hit by a car.
"Unfortunately all five emergency ambulances and the rapid response car – six vehicles in all for the Island – were engaged on life-threatening emergencies – incidents where the patient is unconscious and not breathing.
"As a result the air ambulance was scrambled and at 12:05pm was on route from Thruxton to the Island where it landed in the grounds at Ryde School.
"Hampshire Constabulary Officers assisted the air ambulance paramedics by transferring them by car, from Ryde School to the scene.
"However when it became apparent that the Island’s ambulances were all still engaged in life-threatening emergencies elsewhere and Hampshire Constabulary was unable to transfer the child in their vehicle to the air ambulance, it was agreed that police officers would collect an ambulance from the St. Mary’s Hospital site to enable the air ambulance paramedics to assist with a road transfer to St. Mary’s."
Chief Ambulance Officer for the Isle of Wight, Chris Smith, said: "We’re extremely sorry that this child had to wait for an ambulance but regrettably all six of our vehicles were deployed on life-threatening incidents elsewhere and, whilst accepting the delay occurred, the child’s condition was closely monitored by our clinical support desk team who had ascertained the child’s injuries were non-life threatening and lower leg trauma related and we were able to monitor the incident on CCTV from our emergency call centre on the Island.
"That is why we called the air ambulance to assist with this incident.
"We are grateful to the air ambulance and Hampshire Constabulary officers for assisting us with this incident, which shows great collaboration when required.
"Five emergency ambulances and one rapid response car are the normal ambulance resources available on the Island for emergency calls during the day on a Sunday.
"It is unusual for all six to be involved in life-threatening emergencies at the same time.
"Unlike the mainland where ambulance services are able to call on a neighbouring service for assistance, the Island’s Ambulance Service has to call on the air ambulance to assist when all other resources are already deployed."