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TANNADICE ROW OVER AMBULANCE CREWS; Exclusive Safety fear after staff cuts.

Byline: By Brian McCartney

AMBULANCE chiefs have raised concerns after an SPL team cut emergency cover at their home games.

Dundee United have ditched the St Andrew's Ambulance Association after 76 years following a row over a bill.

And they cut the number of first aiders on duty from the usual 12 to 10.

SPL rules say home teams must have four stretcher bearers "readily available" for injured players and officials.

So only six first aiders will look after the crowd - which could breach guidelines laid down after Hillsborough.

Section 31 of the Green Book on health and safety at sports grounds says there should be one first aider for every 1000 fans. United's home gate has averaged around 8000 this season.

The Red Cross take on the duty for the first time when Tannadice hosts Inverness Caledonian Thistle tomorrow - with just 10 volunteers.

Last night, a spokesman for St Andrew's was adamant 12 crew are needed.

He said: "In the event of a major incident, I would not like to stand up before a procurator fiscal explaining why we had less people than the guidelines require."

But a United spokesman said their provision was "fully compliant with the terms of our safety certificate".

The Red Cross refused to say if they were satisfied they were complying with the safety guidlines.

A Dundee City Council spokeswoman said: "It's the club's responsibility to comply with section 31 of the guidelines and our job is to monitor the situation."

An SPL spokesman said: "If any club is not satisfying their safety requirements we would step in."

The row blew up because St Andrew's - a charity - have not been paid their pounds 17-per-person matchday donation since October.

United said they had not received an invoice, adding: "If they give us a bill, we will pay them."

The club have more first aiders on duty for big games.


ROW: United owner Eddie Thompson
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 17, 2006
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