Weardale community responders to answer all emergency calls
The people of Weardale are to be the first community in the North East to have all their different emergency calls answered by the same two community responders.
So when the residents dial 999 for police, fire or ambulance, the same two people will arrive, whatever the emergency.
Laura Birbeck and Laman Warburton are currently being trained by all three emergency services to be first on the scene to a fire, a crime, or if someone has been injured.
The pilot scheme begins in earnest next month, and Insp Kevin Tuck from Durham Police denied union claims the community responders are purely an attempt to save money.
He says they offer a pioneering way of providing emergency cover in rural areas where services are increasingly stretched.
04 Jan 2016