Emergency Info

Guidelines on when to call the Emergency Services 999 for unwell recreational drug users

Call 999 if ANY one of the following is present:

Unconsciousness – if the patient does not respond to vocal commands, requires painful stimulus (e.g. pressure across the fingernails) to respond or does not respond at all.

Significant agitation (e.g. pacing around the room) or aggression not settling within 15 minutes.

Seizures (e.g. a convulsion similar to an epileptic fit)

Breathing difficulties such as fast breathing rate which does not settle within 15 minutes.

Heart rate over 140 beats per minute not settling within 5 minutes.

Temperature over 38.5 not settling after about 5 minutes of rest, or if very flushed and feels very hot if no thermometer is available.

Blood pressure – Systolic (“upper pressure”) over 180mmHg, or Diastolic (“lower pressure”) over 110mmHg on two repeated blood pressure measurements.

Other concerns – if there are any other concerns (e.g. severe headache, chest pain).


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The Fire Authority Fire Safety Officer works in partnership with the licensing authorities ensuring that pubs, clubs and festivals are managed and operated with proper regard to fire safety. There are also responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with fire safety laws.

Key activities of fire officers

The key activities of fire officers include:

  • Ensuring compliance with fire regulations as laid down in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005,
  • Contributing to the Local Authority Licensing Policy Statement, Safety Advisory Groups and Licensing Partnerships,
  • Carrying out programmed and reactive inspections of venues on a regular basis. This will include ensuring that a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment has been carried out,
  • Ensure adequate fire safety arrangements are provided at premises in relation to public safety e.g. Fire Risk Assessment, operating schedules, safe capacity limit and numbers, and advising responsible persons on fire safety issues to assist them in maintaining a safe premises and compliance with the Order,
  • Ensuring that appropriate training is provided by management to staff in fire safety and that they are aware of the premises fire safety emergency plan and fire procedure,
  • Visiting premises at times of peak activity to ensure that the required safety standards are being applied and complied with at the time the premises are in their highest risk mode,
  • Liaising with licensing officers and police licensing officers regularly on a local authority basis, to ensure a good overall view of fire safety within licensed premises,
  • Sharing information and good practice with partners, highlighting premises with potential problems.

It is good practice for fire officers, licensing teams and their colleagues from the police services to co-ordinate their relevant work and enforcement efforts and to ensure that pubs, clubs and festivals playing music that is more attractive to people who take drugs as part of their night out, receive appropriate inspection visits. The risks of harm, and ultimately of fatalities, are highest at such premises.

You can also find a compendium of other useful resources in Helpful organisations which includes contact details for useful organisations, training providers and a whole host of specialist advice and information sources, many of them online.

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