This Q&A about emergency access into a strata apartment building has been responded to by David Young, Fire Escape.
Question: If a person living in strata needs an ambulance and calls 000, how do the paramedics gain entry into the apartment complex if the person is immobile?
In the event of an 000 call from a person living on their own in strata, and needing an ambulance, how do the paramedics gain entry into the apartment complex if that person is immobile and unable to let them in?
Does St John Ambulance have a similar app like DFES (I think it’s called IRIS) that can somehow give access into the building? Security is great except in emergencies.
Answer: Ambulance officers are highly skilled in medical emergencies but gaining access into a locked unit is generally beyond their scope of expertise.
Ambulance officers are highly skilled in medical emergencies but gaining access into a locked unit is generally beyond their scope of expertise. This situation is far more common than you think and
during my time as a fire fighter in Western Australia, a call out of this nature could be as common as once or twice per week.
In Western Australia, fire fighters are empowered by the WA Fire Brigades Act 1942 which give authorised officers permission to make forced entry into a public or private property if they believe human life is threatened due to fire, hazardous materials or a medical emergency.
Fire appliances are fitted with modern equipment specifically designed for gaining access to buildings in such cases, leaving the ambulance officers free to deal with the patients’ needs. On multiple occasions my crew and I were called out to force entry into units because of a medical emergency and when the occupant had to be taken to hospital, we stayed behind and assisted with securing the premises by getting in contact with the next of kin, Strata Manager or Building Supervisor to carry out the required work so the unit is not left unsecured. Having these after hours numbers available in either your unit or in a building common area can save a lot of time as emergencies do happen 24 hours a day not just during office hours.
Have a question about emergency access into a strata apartment building or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
This post appears in Strata News #370.
- Revolutionary Emergency Communications App Fire Escape Saves Lives
- SA: Q&A Apartment Building Evacuation Plans & Emergency Access
- WA: Temporary Suspension of Fire Maintenance Services Due to COVID-19 Concerns
These articles are not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
Looking for strata information concerning your state? For state-specific strata information, take a look here.