23 November 2001

Help us find you, plea from ambulance service

By Isabel Davies

THE Ambulance Service is urging farmers to make sure farms are properly signposted to help crews answer emergency calls as quickly as possible.

Reaching casualties in remote rural locations is a growing problem. Ambulance crews say there are times when vital minutes are lost looking for an address.

More than 10% of rural households live over 7.5 miles from a hospital, according to a recent survey by the Countryside Agency. This is particularly the case in upland areas of north-east England, and parts of Yorks and Lincs.

"Farmers can help us with our response to agricultural incidents by making sure that all properties are clearly signed," said Margaret Serna, chief executive of Lincolnshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. "To help you, we have to find you."

Numbers and letters on signs should be at least 3.5in tall. Black letters on a white background or white letters on a black background are best. Signs should be visible at the end of lanes as well as on buildings and should be kept clear of foliage. A six-figure grid reference of the farm should be kept next to the phone. &#42