Ruth Mitchell

Groundbreaking technology helps race run without a stitch

Technology developed by a North East company allowed ambulance crews and race organisers to reach runners and spectators in distress more quickly at last Sunday’s Great North Run - helping to keep casualties at their lowest number in years.

The Great North Run presents major challenges to medical teams as they attempt to look after the 36,000+ runners and crowds of over 30,000. Gosforth-based Imass, which specialises in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology, was brought in by the emergency services to set up a control room at the event from which they could track their resources - enabling them to get crews out to incidents through the crowds more quickly than ever.

Simon Swallow, one of the event managers for North East Ambulance, said: “We have continually strived to improve the speed and efficiency of communications at the Great North Run, to enable the medical control personnel to dispatch emergency vehicles and medical resources as quickly as possible to a casualty.

“Imass technology allowed a rapid deployment to each incident so that the ill or injured could receive expert attention faster than ever before. “On screen in the control room we could see the exact location of a casualty and which ambulance had the shortest access route to get them to the medical centre most quickly.”

Imass’s Public Safety Business Development Manager, Paul Warner, said: “The Imass tracking solution was successfully used throughout Sunday to monitor the location of various medical support resources including Silver and Bronze command, Paramedics, ambulances from British Red Cross, St Johns Ambulance Service and the North East Ambulance Service.

“This helped Control Room personnel allocate the nearest medical support resources to anyone who needed their assistance thereby contributing to the safety of those involved or attending the event. We are already in discussion with the Medical organisations that support the event as to how Imass can further help next year’s event.”

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