Northampton paramedics in plea to callers over night delays

An ambulance crew delayed in finding a dying baby's home at night has sparked a plea for 999 callers to make sure their lights are on.

Paramedic John McGovern told the inquest into Justin Rogalev's death the crew struggled to find his Northampton flat as it was "pitch black".

There was no suggestion Justin's life could have been saved if there had been no delay, coroner Ann Pember heard.

Mr McGovern said the property had not been easy to find.

He said the crew had to get out of their ambulance to find the flat in Baronson Gardens where 26-day-old Justin, who died of a pulmonary haemorrhage, lived.

Mrs Pember ruled the baby had died accidentally.

"We had trouble finding it... it was pitch black," Mr McGovern told the hearing.

The incident took place in March, months before the county's street light switch off.

The list of tips for people to help ambulances reach their destination quicker includes putting clear numbers on houses and flats, lighting the area as well as standing outside to greet the ambulance.

An East Northamptonshire Ambulance Service spokesman said: "Darkness can make it hard to find people quickly in an emergency and so EMAS asks people to take extra steps to help emergency patients get a faster response.

"A good way to test this is to stand outside and imagine an ambulance crew travelling quickly at night, in the rain - would the [property] number stand out?

"Switching all house lights on if calling 999 at night also makes properties more visible.

"[And] if there is more than one person with the patient, and it is safe to do so, someone can stand outside the property to look out for and wave down the ambulance."

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