“Arran Resilience seeks to provide a useful model of rural emergency care to improve the availability of skilled casualty care at times of high or complex demand…”

Arran is the seventh largest island in Scotland, with a population that increases from 5,000 to 25,000 over the summer months.  It takes over an hour to drive from one end to the other.  Whilst this is a large area for the emergency services to cover, there are several geographically diverse and committed emergency teams on Arran.  It therefore makes sense to ensure that access to training and resources is as effective as possible, and plan multi-agency responses in the event of multiple or major incidents.

A model of rural community resilience

In October 2010, the team leaders of all the emergency teams got together at the Mountain Rescue Base near Brodick.  As a result of this first multi-agency meeting, Arran Resilience was founded.  We now have a model of rural emergency teamworking  that is likely to interest other rural communities in Scotland, and perhaps further afield.  This website has therefore been created to explain the background to AIM CARE and we would be happy to hear from anyone who would be interested in learning more about our setup here.

Arran Resilience was originally part of the AIM CARE project (Arran Immediate Medical Care – Aspiring to Response & Effectiveness) – a project carried out by Dr David Hogg during his GP Rural Fellowship on Arran.  The project started by looking at how to improve the integration of BASICS GPs into the systems of the Scottish Ambulance Service.  However, the project grew arms and legs, and it became clear that all emergency teams on Arran have an interest in developing their casualty care skills.

Project origins

Whilst the project exceeded its initial objectives, it seems to have provided a welcome platform on which emergency services on Arran could liaise at a local level.  The development time afforded by the GP Rural Fellowship was particularly instrumental in being able to steer the project through the initial startup phase.  Now that several routines have been set in place – such as the format of liaison meetings, and the integration into regional major incident planning – Arran Resilience now represents a model of rural emergency care that could be easily transferred into other rural communities.

The AIM CARE model originally had the following structure:

Ongoing effectiveness

However since 2010, Arran Resilience has become a useful entity for emergency planning on Arran, and has successfully brought together Arran’s emergency teams on a number of occasions.  Team leader meetings continue on a regular basis, and the group continually considers ways of bringing responders together for exercises, training and other activities.