EMERGENCY services across Warwickshire and the West Midlands have signed up to a new agreement which will see incidents on roads dealt with more swiftly.
The agreement cements the collaboration between the services and sets out clear roles to enable more efficiency at the scene as well as managing the road network, meaning less disruption for drivers.
The memorandum of understanding has been signed by organisations across the region including Warwickshire Police, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, and West Midlands Ambulance Service, as well as Highways England and its maintenance contractor Kier.
The scheme is intended to improve traffic management, encourage a greater degree of operational cooperation, enable more information sharing between the organisations, and provide enhanced support for dealing with incidents.
The agreement, which will be reviewed annually, covers the roles and responsibilities of each service, consistency of approach, information sharing, and incorporates the procedures in the National Operating Agreement for smart motorways.
Insp Jem Mountford of Warwickshire Police said: “We are delighted to be part of this agreement as we continue to work closer with all other agencies and understand each other’s roles more fully.
“The more efficient we are when dealing with incidents on our roads, the quicker we can return the roads to normality. This in turn allows our officers more time to address the behaviours that cause incidents such as overweight vehicles, speeding, and using a mobile phone while driving. This is positive news for the public who will experience fewer delays and increased safety on Warwickshire’s roads.”
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “By the nature of our job, the quicker we can get to patients in distress and begin treating them, particularly when seriously injured, the better.
“Therefore, we very much welcome this new agreement and will be working with Highways England colleagues and other emergency services to help provide the very best level of care possible whenever a road traffic collision takes place.”
Highways England Service Delivery Manager David Yates said: “Any incidents on the network can cause widespread disruption and we all want to manage the situation as efficiently as possible and get traffic moving again.
“With so many organisations often on scene, good collaboration and communication is essential. These agreed protocols ensure our roles are set out beforehand and better enable us to deal with incidents smoothly, swiftly and effectively.
“All of the partner organisations have been working together for some time on this agreement and we are delighted that it has now been agreed and signed by all concerned.”