Emergency crews take starring role

Martin Abbott
Martin Abbott

EMERGENCY services in Blackpool are set to be put under the national spotlight tonight when a new documentary airs.

The first in the series, entitled 999: What’s Your Emergency?, will follow the police, ambulance and fire services around the resort carrying out their daily duties.

Representatives from all three services have given their views ahead of the series premiere.

Chief Supt Richard Debicki, of Lancashire Police, said: “Some issues of concern will be highlighted, such as drugs and alcohol abuse, and these do affect a small proportion of the population of Blackpool.

Gritty

“However, we must remember whilst the gritty reality is often shocking when seen on TV, the local authority and other partners have done some fantastic work over the years to address some of the issues.”

Chris Kenny, assistant chief fire officer of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It always takes a degree of courage to allow the media to portray the emergency services as we are, rather than as we would like to appear.

“Ironically it is only through this honesty that the public can fully appreciate the challenges we face every day.”

Deputy chief executive for North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Bob Williams, said: “The cases shown in the series are not unusual, we attend incidents like these day and night throughout the region.

“We believe the more the public knows about our service, the more they can help us best serve the people who really need our help.”

Car crash victim Martin Abbott, of Newton Avenue, Poulton, will also feature in the series.

Martin, 43, worked as bars manager at Sands before he was hit on Normoss Road while returning home from a Christmas shopping trip in December.

The crash left him with a permanent limp along with other serious injuries, and his attempt to recover will be charted later on in the series.

He said: “The spin they’re doing on the programme is very positive and it’s just highlighting what the emergency crews are doing.

“All my friends just want to see me in agony though.”

A Channel 4 spokesman described Blackpool as “an ideal location” for a show of this type.

He said: “For the first time, the series looks at the work of the three emergency services in one town.

“The issues featured apply to towns and cities up and down the country, but Blackpool is an ideal location for filming as it allows access to a wide range of incidents in a relatively small area.”