Paramedics took 30mins to reach Rosepark nursing home fire

THE first ambulance on the scene at a care home blaze that killed 14 people arrived half an hour after the fire alarm first sounded, an inquiry has heard.

After the crews made frantic calls for back up, it took a further 18 minutes for more ambulances to reach the home.

The Fatal Accident

Inquiry into the tragedy at Rosepark Nursing Home in Uddingston, Lanarkshire on January 31 2004 was hearing from the paramedics and technicians who had manned the 11 ambulances that attended the home that night.

It heard of their frenzied attempts to save the lives of residents suffering from severe smoke inhalation.

Paramedic Ross Munro described rushing into the home to find firefighters had evacuated the pensioners into the home’s lounge.

“The first row of casualties were being treated so I was directed to a second row of patients suffering from smoke inhalation.

“My patient was absolutely black, covered in soot. There was a blanket over her but I could see her feet were completely black.”

Mr Munro treated her with salbutamol, a drug which opens up the airways in the body assisting breathing, and rushed her to hospital. She survived.

It was further heard that two residents had been in serious but not grave conditions as they were evacuated in ambulances.

Paramedic Kenneth Frame said he had found Isabella MacLachlan, aged 93, with soot deposits in her nose and around her mouth but he reported she did have a pulse and was breathing when she was put into an ambulance.

Thomas Lowrie, also a paramedic, told how his patient Robina Burns, 89, had regained consciousness as she was raced to hospital and had “begun to trying to pull her oxygen mask from her face”. Tragically both would die in hospital in the days following the fire.

Paramedics, who arrived at the scene later described the difficulties they had encountered in bringing their ambulances close to the home because of the congestion caused by the weight of emergency vehicles in the drives and car parks. They described having to drive round to the back entrance of the home to gain access to the casualties.

The inquiry, expected to last another three to five months, continues.