Are you prepared for Christmas?

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Monday 16th December 2013 – 8.45am – Suzie Fothergill.

Whilst people are out busily shopping for stocking fillers, West Midlands Ambulance Service is urging the public to think about filling their medicine cabinet too.

Ensuring you have a few essential medical supplies this festive season could mean avoiding an unnecessary trip to A&E or the need to dial 999.

Unfortunately, every winter, colds, flu, stomach bugs and other ailments are all too common. Ideally everyone should be checking their medicine cabinets, discarding of any out-of-date stock and replacing them with items such as painkillers, cold and flu remedies, indigestion relief, bandages and plasters, a thermometer and a good stock of tissues.

For those who require regular prescription medication, it is vital that you ensure that you have supplies to last throughout the holidays. Don’t leave it too late to check; at the moment there is still time to make an appointment with your doctor and order a repeat prescription, if required.

West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Medical Director, Dr Andy Carson, said: “Please make sure that while you’re out shopping, you pick up the medical essentials that will help you get through the Christmas period.

“Having the essentials means that the vast majority of people will be able to treat themself for their pre-existing condition or minor illnesses at home, avoiding trips to A&E or dialling 999. However, it is always important that you read the label before taking any kind of medicines.

“The last thing we want is more cases of people’s celebrations being disturbed or even ruined by a medical emergency which could have been prevented with some simple pre-planning.

“If you have a condition that means you do use the Health Service regularly, please also take a moment to find out the opening times of your GP during the festive season and what their out of hours provision is, just in case.”

If you are travelling away for the Christmas holidays, don’t forget to pack any prescription medications. If you do forget, please seek help and advice from a pharmacist, as soon as possible. Members of the public can also get general advice about medication from their local pharmacy too.

If you do unfortunately find yourself unwell over the festive season please think about the service you need; do you have a life threatening emergency or could you use a walk-in centre or visit a minor injuries unit?

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Man trapped as wall collapses

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Sunday 15th December 2013 –7.30pm – Suzie Fothergill.

Ambulance crews were called to the rescue of a man following a wall collapse in Solihull today.

West Midlands Ambulance Service dispatched an ambulance, the Hazardous Area Response Team and the West Midlands CARE Team to the incident which took place at a private property on a road, off Bills Lane, in Shirley at approximately 11.15am.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews were called to reports of a man who had become injured after a wall had collapsed trapping his leg.

“The man, believed to be in his 30’s, was given pain relief at the scene and was freed from the rubble, with the assistance of the fire service.

“The man was treated at the scene for a suspected fractured leg and ankle. His leg was immobilised using a splint and the casualty was conveyed to Heartlands Hospital for further assessment and treatment.”

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Fatal RTC in Birmingham

Sunday 15th December 2013 –11.00am – Suzie Fothergill.

A man has been fatally injured following an incident on Broad Street in Birmingham shortly after 5.15am this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service received a 999 call from the police to a road traffic collision involving a pedestrian.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “On arrival at the scene crews found a man who was in a critical condition. Emergency medical treatment was carried out immediately and continued en-route to City hospital.

“Unfortunately despite best efforts of ambulance personnel and hospital medics nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed deceased at hospital.”

Ends

Update on MAA fleet

Sunday 15th December 2013 – 10.00am – Suzie Fothergill.

West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm that all three of the Midlands Air Ambulances are now fully operational following extensive inspections by engineers from Bond Air Services.

Advent Calendar Window 15 – Louise Harris, Recruitment Advisor

15 - Recruitment Advisor - Louise Harris

Name: Louise Harris

Job Title: Recruitment Advisor

Base: Ambulance Headquarters in Brierley Hill

Length of service: Just over 5 years

Role within WMAS:

I am in charge of recruiting all of the new paramedics, technicians and other frontline staff that the organisation needs.  It’s been a pretty busy year as we’ve taken on 290 new staff.  I organise putting the adverts on NHS jobs (www.jobs.nhs.uk); sifting through the hundreds of applications, and deciding who to interview.  It’s really important that we get the right staff as they could make the difference between life and death.  The recruitment process isn’t easy – as well as an interview we test their driving ability; fitness; clinical skills; literacy; numeracy; and problem solving.  Together with my colleagues we’re ensuring the Trust achieves its vision of having a paramedic on every vehicle.  The future certainly doesn’t look like easing up; in January we will start recruiting 120 new student paramedics.  Whilst my job will be really busy, I know that my efforts will mean patients get an even better service.

Christmas day plans:

It could be great; or it could be a disaster!  For the first time in my 28 years, I will be cooking Christmas Dinner for my family.  Not quite sure how that happened, but I suppose it probably was about time I got round to doing it.  Wish me luck!

Top tip for winter:

Decorations are not as innocent as they might appear!

You would be amazed at how many people end up dialling 999 or going to A&E whilst putting up their Christmas decorations. Nationally, thousands of people are injured. Injuries include nasty cuts from cutting the top off the tree that was slightly too big.  Christmas lights lead to electric shocks and children swallowing bulbs.  Glass baubles can be dangerous if they break and adults are known to fall from chairs while trying to reach just a little too far to put that last decoration up.  Christmas candles are beautiful but never leave an open flame unattended – people are 50% more likely to die in a house fire over Christmas than at any other time of year.  Finally, Christmas plants can be particularly nasty – you may want to be kissed under the Mistletoe, but the berries are poisonous and can cause heart problems and hallucinations.  The Christmas rose is so effective at causing diarrhoea that it was used as a chemical weapon by the ancient Greeks.  Merry Christmas!

Man rescued from The Roaches

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Saturday 14th December 2013 – 8.20pm – Suzie Fothergill.

A man has been rescued from The Roaches after becoming injured.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to a rock face off Buxton Road, Upper Hulme in Leek at approximately 4.35pm this afternoon.

An ambulance, a rapid response vehicle, a senior paramedic officer and the Hazardous Area Response Team were sent to the scene. The mountain rescue, police and fire service were also in attendance.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “On arrival, crews found a man who had become injured 40 feet up on the rock face.

“It’s believed the man had become injured whilst lowering his companion down the rock on a rope. Due to the nature of his injuries he was unable to make his own descent.

“The man, thought to be in his late 20’s, was brought down safety using specialist equipment. He was treated by ambulance crews for a wrist injury and was discharged at the scene.”

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Fatal RTC

Saturday 14th December 2013 – 4.20pm – Suzie Fothergill.

A man has been fatally injured following a road traffic collision in Worcestershire this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the incident on Bromsgrove Highway shortly after 6am today.

An ambulance, a paramedic area support officer and the Trust’s MERIT rapid response vehicle, carrying a critical care paramedic and a trauma doctor, were dispatched to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews were called to reports of a car and a pedestrian that had been in collision.

“Sadly on arrival at the scene it quickly became apparent that nothing could be done to save the pedestrian, and he was confirmed deceased at the scene.”

Ends

Advent Calendar Window 14 – Mick Donnelly, HART Operative

14 - HART OPerative - Mick Donnelly

Name: Mick Donnelly
Job Title: HART Operative
Base: Oldbury
Length of service: 2 ½ years

Role within WMAS:

The Hazardous Area Response Team consists of 42 Paramedics, which are split into seven teams of six. HART Operatives are paramedics that are trained in a variety of specialist skills enabling them to provide lifesaving emergency medical treatment in some very difficult environments. Teams are trained to use specialist equipment enabling them to work at heights, within confined spaces such as tunnels or collapsed buildings, rough terrain, at the scene of severe building fires, as well as water rescue incidents. They also have specialist knowledge surrounding hazardous materials, such as chemicals, and how best to treat those patients that may have come into contact with such materials.

Christmas day plans:

I worked Christmas day last year and so I am off this year. I am looking forward to spending Christmas day with my fiancée and future in laws!

Top tip for winter:

What better present for the next Chris Hoy or Bradley Wiggins. Time may be running out, but there is a present that all of our staff would support you buying, if your loved one rides a bike – a cycle helmet. There is now a huge amount of research that shows that for many patients, the level of injury is significantly reduced in cases where the cyclist was wearing a helmet. Wearing one doesn’t mean you can be reckless; far from it. What a helmet does is provide some protection for your face, head, and brain in case you come off your bike. While wearing a helmet does not reduce the risk of injury entirely, it does significantly reduce the extent of injury due to impacts to the head, particularly with children. Whether you are a cyclist or not, we would also ask all that all road users look out for each other. Doing so will go a long way to meaning cyclists will not need their helmet. Cycle helmets do not need to be expensive but could make the difference between life and death. The cost is surely a price worth paying. Helmets should be a snug fit and positioned squarely on your head – sitting just above your eyebrows, not tilted back or tipped forwards. Make sure that it is securely fastened by straps, which aren’t twisted, with only enough room for two fingers between your chin and the strap.

RTC in Tarrington

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Saturday 14th December 2013 – 8.45am – Suzie Fothergill.

Two men have been treated by ambulance crews after the car they were travelling in collided with another last night.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the incident in Tarrington, Herefordshire at approximately 10.20pm yesterday.

Two ambulances, a paramedic area support officer, a MARS BASICS doctor and the Trust’s MERIT rapid response vehicle, carrying a critical care paramedic and a trauma doctor, were dispatched to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “On arrival at the scene crews found two cars that had been in collision.

“One of the cars had been carrying two occupants. The passenger, a man, was treated for suspected internal injuries. He was fully immobilised and extricated from the car before being conveyed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

“The driver, a man, was treated for a suspected head injury. The man was fully immobilised and conveyed to the same hospital for further assessment and treatment.

“The driver of the second car, also a man, was assessed at the scene but did not require any further hospital treatment.”

Ends

Are you a life saver or a time waster?

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Friday 13th December 2013 – 4.40pm – Murray MacGregor.

Life saver or time waster? It’s a simple question, but also a crucial one to think about as West Midlands Ambulance Service and the rest of the NHS approaches the busiest time of the year.

In the run up to and over the Festive period, the number of emergency 999 calls rises significantly, especially if the snow arrives. This year we will be utilising social media to help people understand some of the challenges we face.

All next week, (Monday 16th – Friday 20th December), we will be giving everyone an insight into the lives of our staff as they go about their roles. Via Twitter we’ll highlight the range of calls that we get into our control rooms and how we respond to them.

We’ll be out with ambulance staff each day following them as they respond to the emergency calls that we receive. In addition, we’ll be letting you know more about some of the alternatives to the ambulance service and A&E.

Assistant Chief Officer, Daren Fradgley, said: “We hope that this awareness will help the public to take a moment to make sure that they ‘Choose Well’ when they access the NHS.

“Not everyone who calls 999 needs an ambulance or to be taken to hospital. In fact, the percent of those who are taken to hospital by us is continuing to fall. This is allowing us to concentrate our resources on treating those who are seriously ill or injured.

“We hope that by providing information and demonstrating the types of calls that we receive that people will only call us when they need us. By doing so, we will be better able to help the people who really need us.

“Today, the reality is that genuinely life threatening calls make up only around 10% of our work which is why we need the public to make sure they allow us to concentrate on these calls, the ones where every second counts.

“Every one of the near 1,000,000 emergency calls that we will receive this year is triaged so that we can identify the life threatening ones quickly. Please stay calm while we ask you a series of questions – it won’t delay us providing the help you need.

“If you dial 999 for a problem which is not a genuine emergency, then you could be delaying our ambulances and rapid response vehicles getting to someone who is suffering from a life-threatening condition such as a heart attack, a stroke, an unconscious patient, someone with serious blood loss or a person choking. Ultimately, making a call about a less serious condition could put someone else’s life at risk. That is why we are asking if you are a life saver or a time waster.”

If you’d like to follow us over the coming week, use these methods:

http://www.twitter.com/officialwmas
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Officialwmas/218669171509966
http://www.officialwmas.wordpress.com/
http://www.wmas.nhs.uk

This guide can also help you decide how best to get the right treatment:

Step 1: Choose self-care for minor ailments
Don’t forget to keep your first-aid kit well stocked – ask your pharmacist for advice on treating conditions such as a hangover, a grazed knee, a sore throat, a cough, minor cuts and sprains.

Step 2: Choose a pharmacist for access to over the counter medicines
Get advice on conditions such as tummy upsets, coughs and colds, diarrhoea, minor infections, headaches and travel advice

Step 3: Choose NHS 111 for advice and information 24 hours a day
You can call 111 or log onto http://www.nhs.uk for advice if you feel unwell, you are unsure of your condition, are confused or need help

Step 4: Choose a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.
These centres can treat a wide range of minor conditions and you will often be seen much more quickly than if you went to A&E. Use them for conditions such as deep cuts, eye injuries, severe sprains, suspected fracture, minor head injuries and minor burns and scalds

Step 5: Choose your GP for prescriptions and persistent conditions
As well as making an appointment during the day, all GPs offer an out-of-hours service. They can help with conditions such as children with a fever, persistent vomiting, ear pain, generally unwell, rashes.

Step 6: Choose A&E or dial 999 for life threatening conditions or illnesses
In an emergency, go to your local A&E department or call 999 for an ambulance.
This includes conditions such as choking, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, drowning, fitting or concussion, serious blood loss, severe burns, scalds or allergic reactions. If you are going to A&E, can you get there by car, public transport or taxi? You will not be seen any more quickly at the hospital if you arrive by ambulance.

Ends

Update 2 – MAA Fleet

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Friday 13th December 2013 – 2.30pm – Steve Parry.

West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm the latest situation with regards the helicopter fleet operated by Midlands Air Ambulance.

Following an inspection by engineers from Bond Air Services, the Midlands Air Ambulance from Tatenhill airbase in Staffordshire has resumed normal service. Inspections on the two further Midlands Air Ambulances based at Cosford and Strensham are continuing with a view to them returning to normal operation by Sunday.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Safety is our highest priority and we will be guided by the operator of the aircraft.

“Medical crews that would normally have been flying have been responding on land vehicles as they would if inclement weather had stopped the helicopters operating.”

ENDS

Advent Calendar window 13 – Tracy Rayment-Bishop, Information and Performance Manager

13 - Performance Cell - Tracy R-B

Name:

 

Tracy Rayment-Bishop

 

Job Title:

 

Information and Performance Manager

 

Base:

 

Ambulance Headquarters in Brierley Hill

 

Length of service:

 

9½ years

 

Role within WMAS

 

I run the performance cell which is a team of information analysts and developers that helps the Trust analyse the large amounts of data that we have so that we can understand trends and changes that happen.  We look at trends in areas such as 999 demand, response performance, hospital delays and look at comparisons with previous years so that we can help our operational colleagues ensure there are enough ambulances and response cars available each day.  Clearly we want to understand why things happen and what we can do to ensure that we can provide an even better service for patients.  As a team we also provide live information feeds for the Trust so that they can see instantly what activity is like and resource availability.  Essentially we try to help the Trust run as efficiently as possible as we know that means staff will be there to help patients in their hour of need.

 

Christmas day plans:

 

I will be at my mother’s house with my husband eating far too much which means I’ll probably put on half a stone over the Festive period!

 

Top tip for winter: Choose Well – A&E and 999 Emergencies

 

Accident and Emergency Departments and the 999 service are primarily there to deal with life threatening conditions and emergencies.  These sorts of cases will be prioritised above all others which means, if your condition is less serious, you may well be seen more quickly by using one of the other Choose Well alternatives.  The types of cases that should be seen at A&E or by dialling 999 are:

  • Serious blood loss
  • Chest pains
  • Choking
  • Suspected stroke
  • The patient is unconscious

If our crews are dealing with relatively ‘minor’ conditions, they may not be able to get to the patients with genuine life-threatening illness or injury as quickly as we would want, which ultimately could put lives at risk.  Check out NHS Choices www.nhs.uk for more information.

Update on MAA fleet grounded

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Thursday 12th December 2013 – 4.30pm – Claire Brown.

West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm that one of the three helicopters operated by Midlands Air Ambulance and grounded by their operator Bond Air Services earlier today, is now clear for flight.

Following an inspection by Bond engineers, the Midlands Air Ambulance from Tatenhill airbase in Staffordshire will resume normal service in the morning. Inspections on the two further Midlands Air Ambulances based at Cosford and Strensham are continuing with a view to them returning to normal operation tomorrow.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Clearly safety is our number one priority and will be guided by the operator of the aircraft.

“The crews that would have been flying today have been responding on land vehicles as they would if the weather had stopped the helicopters flying.”

 

ENDS

Advent Calendar Window 12 – Martyn Scott, Area Manager

12 - Area Manager Martyn Scott

Name:

Martyn Scott

Job Title: 

Area Manager

Base:

Warwick Ambulance Hub, Tournament Fields, Warwick

Length of service:

11 years

Role within WMAS:

I manage all ambulance staff within the South Warwickshire Area.  I ensure that there is a fully fit for purpose ambulance service 24 hours a day in the Warwick area in which I both work and live.  This includes operational front line staff, administration, Ambulance Fleet Assistants, and all aspects of managing a busy ambulance hub.  I am also a registered paramedic and I still respond to emergencies both in and out of hours.

Christmas day plans:

I will be a management present on site on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, looking after the welfare of all the staff that are working and not spending the day with their families.  I will also provide treats for them as a thank you for their dedication and hard work at this busy time of year – but don’t tell them that yet.

Top tip for winter: Choose Well – 111

This new service will help if you think you might need to go to hospital, don’t know who to call for medical help, don’t have a GP to call or need medical advice or reassurance about what to do next.  When you dial 111 a trained health advisor will ask you questions to find out what’s wrong, give you advice, direct you to someone who can give you help like an out of hours doctor or a community nurse.  They may also transfer you to one of the nurses who works right beside them.  However, if the adviser thinks it is more serious they can direct you to a local hospital or even send an ambulance.  They also have a wide range of confidential health advice and information about many conditions 24 hours a day.  If you are suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts and your GP surgery is closed, you should call NHS 111.  You can call 111 any time and is free from landlines and mobiles.  Check out NHS Choices www.nhs.uk for more information.

First North Herefordshire Public Access Defibrillator Goes live in Kingsland

Wednesday 11th December 2013 – 4.55pm – Chris Kowalik in conjunction with Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service

A vital piece of lifesaving equipment will be available in Kingsland, Herefordshire, for members of the public to use in the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, in partnership with West Midlands Ambulance Service and funded entirely by Kingsland Parish Council, have been working together to have the public access defibrillator sited outside Markhams Garage in Kingsland.

A defibrillator is a device that can restart the heart of someone who suffers a cardiac arrest.

Dean Baker, North Herefordshire Commander for Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: “This shows the benefit of partnership working, as the village of Kingsland and surrounding area now has this vital piece of lifesaving equipment, which can be used by any member of the public and is available 24 hours a day.”

In the New Year, Kingsland firefighters will receive “trainer training” from West Midlands Ambulance Service. They will then run public training sessions for people living in the village at dates and times to be arranged.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and West Midlands Ambulance Service are also trying to secure Public Access Defibrillators at Eardisley, Kington and Leominster with the assistance of the local Parish or Town Councils – in some cases these will be attached to the outside of the local fire stations.

Noel Orbell, Community Response Manager, West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We are all working together to improve the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest in outlying rural villages. When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their chance of survival in the first two minutes is 80%. The survival rate drops with every minute, so the more people we can have trained within the local community – the better.”

Rodney Smallwood, Chairman of Kingsland Parish Council said “The parish council is pleased to be able to provide the first public access defibrillator in north Herefordshire through the purchase of this invaluable lifesaving equipment.  The defibrillator will enable local people to look after each other, and is an example of how communities can pull together in times of austerity.  Many thanks are due to Markhams Garage, where two of the retained firefighters are directors, for hosting the public access defibrillator in Kingsland.”

FIRST NORTH HEREFORDSHIRE PUBLIC ACCESS DEFIBRILLATOR GOES LIVE IN KINGSLAND 1

Pic left to right: Rodney Smallwood (Chairman of Kingsland Parish Council), Noel Orbell (West Midlands Ambulance Service Community Response Manager), Julian Gore (Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rescue Service Watch Commander), Simon Powney (H&W F&RS Crew Commander and Director of Markhams Garage), Tavey Cameron-Swan (H&W F&RS Firefighter and Director of Markhams Garage).

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Note to Editors: A cardiac arrest is not a “heart attack”.

Defibrillator training sessions will be published locally in Kingsland

Advent Calendar Window 11 – Alex McKerlie, PTS Operations Assistant

11 - PTS Call Centre - Slex McKerlie

Name: Alex Mckerlie

Job Title: PTS Operations Assistant

Base: Stafford

Length of service: 5 ½ years

Role within WMAS:

As well as dealing with ‘999’ emergency calls, West Midlands Ambulance Service plays a key role in getting thousands of patients to their out-patient appointments. Every year, staff complete in the region of 800,000 non-emergency Patient Transport Service (PTS) journeys.

Alex’s role is to take bookings for these patient transport journeys. Alex takes bookings from array of individuals including patients, hospitals and GPs to name a few.

Alex is based within a dedicated control room in Tollgate, Staffordshire where approximately 20 call handlers and controllers work to dispatch 320 vehicles to patients around the whole region each day. A smaller centre call centre operates at University Hospital Birmingham (UHB) which deals solely with UHB patients.

Christmas day plans:

Luckily for Alex he will be spending Christmas day and boxing day at home.

Top tip for winter:

Choose Well – Walk-in treatment centre / urgent care centre / minor injuries unit

They offer confidential healthcare advice and all the services you would expect from your local GP including immunisations, presciptions as well as some minor surgery and help for minor injuries.  They are usually open from early morning until late at night and you do not need an appointment to be seen by an experienced nurse or GP. These centres offer a range of treatments, complementing the services provided by local GPs and hospitals. Examples of ailments best treated by this service are:

  • Cuts
  • Itches
  • Sprains
  • Strains

Check out NHS Choices www.nhs.uk for more information.

Superhero ambulance duo to support children’s charity

Superhero ambulance duo to support children's charity

Tuesday 10th December 2013 – 4.00pm – Claire Brown.

Two paramedics will don superhero costumes and climb 13 floors of 13 buildings in Birmingham next week to raise money for a children’s brain tumour charity.

Mike Duggan and Tom Rose, based in Birmingham, will join fellow emergency service colleagues in a challenge to raise over £10,000 by climbing the stair cases of some of Birmingham’s landmark buildings for The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity.

Josh, from Bury, has a reoccurring brain tumour and complex neuromuscular disabilities following surgery. Nicknamed #SuperJosh by his supporters, he wants to use his special superhero powers to help other children suffering with brain tumours.

The charity, launched in August to celebrate Josh’s 13th birthday, is chaired by West Midlands Police Superintendent Keith Fraser who has organised the #Brum13peakchallenge which will involve 13 superheroes climbing 13 floors in 13 buildings on Monday 16th December.

Paramedics Mike and Tom will join Supt Fraser, police and fire colleagues together with members of the local community for the one day challenge to raise money for a new family room as part of the new Cancer Suite at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Mike said: “The news that your child has any illness is always traumatic.  To have a facility to allow bad news, such as cancer, to be broken and taken in is vital to support families and we are pleased to be given the opportunity to try and assist the goal Keith has set himself.  It is shaping up to be an awesome day and although it will be a challenge we are all set to rise to it!”

The challenge, supported by The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, the Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable, will kick start outside Birmingham Children’s Hospital on Steelhouse Lane at 9.30am and finishes at Lloyd House Police HQ at 5pm. The 13 super heroes will be climbing stairs at Brindley place, The Cube, Birmingham’s new Library, Colmore Gate, The Radisson, the Rotunda, the McLaren building, Centre City House and Colmore Plaza.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

Visit http://www.gofundme.com/Brum13peakchallenge to learn more about the challenge and donate and visit www.joshwilsoncharity.org.uk for information about the charity.

Advent Calendar Window 10 – Darren Brunt, Mechanic

Image

Name: Darren Brunt

Job Title: Mechanic

Base: Shrewsbury

Length of service:  8 years

Role within West Midlands Ambulance Service:

I service and maintain ambulances and rapid response vehicles to a safe standard including a lot of preventative maintenance to try and make sure they don’t break down in the first place. In Shropshire we have a fleet of 50 vehicles to look after. This role is very important and it’s not just because my wife who is an Emergency Medical Technician drives them. If my mum or dad needed an ambulance, I wouldn’t want to think there isn’t one available because it’s on the ramp needing repair. It’s important that they’re right, safe and on the road. You never know when a family member might need it.

Christmas day plans:

I will be at home with my wife helping the kids open their presents! But I will also be on call. If I am called, I will get into my blue uniform and repair the vehicle if it can be fixed.

Top tip for winter: Choose Well – Dentist

If you are suffering from toothache, please book an appointment with your dentist.  They provide expert advice and examination on your oral health.  A dentist can carry out minor procedures or refer you to appropriate services.  Examples of the ailments best treated by this service are:

  • Cavities
  • Gum problems
  • Replacement teeth
  • Tooth abscesses
  • Tooth infection

Check out NHS Choices www.nhs.uk for more information.

Advent Calendar Window 10 – Darren Brunt, Mechanic

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Name:

Darren Brunt

Job Title:

Mechanic

Base:

Shrewsbury

Length of service:

8 years

Role within West Midlands Ambulance Service:

I service and maintain ambulances and rapid response vehicles to a safe standard including a lot of preventative maintenance to try and make sure they don’t break down in the first place. In Shropshire we have a fleet of 50 vehicles to look after. This role is very important and it’s not just because my wife who is an Emergency Medical Technician drives them. If my mum or dad needed an ambulance, I wouldn’t want to think there isn’t one available because it’s on the ramp needing repair. It’s important that they’re right, safe and on the road. You never know when a family member might need it.

Christmas day plans:

I will be at home with my wife helping the kids open their presents! But I will also be on call. If I am called, I will get into my blue uniform and repair the vehicle if it can be fixed.

Top tip for winter: Choose Well – Dentist
If you are suffering from toothache, please book an appointment with your dentist. They provide expert advice and examination on your oral health. A dentist can carry out minor procedures or refer you to appropriate services. Examples of the ailments best treated by this service are:
· Cavities

· Gum problems

· Replacement teeth

· Tooth abscesses

· Tooth infection

Check out NHS Choices http://www.nhs.uk for more information.

RTC in Shrewsbury

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Tuesday 10th December 2013 – 8.40pm – Murray MacGregor.

An elderly man was left trapped upside down for around half an hour after a crash in Shrewsbury last night.

The crash happened at about 9.00pm on Ellesmere Road.

Two ambulances and the MERIT Trauma doctor were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found three cars that had been damaged. One car was upside down and another was on the pavement. A third car had minor damage to the front offside headlight and bumper.

“Two elderly men were in the upside down car. One had managed to get out himself. The second was still inside.

“The man inside was removed by ambulance staff with the assistance of firefighters on a spinal board. He was assessed by the doctor at the scene and was found to have suffered no significant injuries but was taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital as a precaution.

“The other elderly man was taken to the same hospital, again as a precaution.

“No-one in the third car was injured. It is believed the second car was parked at the time of the crash.”

Ends

Road traffic collision on A53 at Quarnford

Monday 9th December 2013 – 4.45pm – Chris Kowalik.

Two people have been injured in a collision involving the car and van they were driving in Staffordshire – with both being flown to hospital by air ambulance.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the A53 at Quarnford shortly before 1.05pm today.

An advanced community paramedic, a BASICS Emergency Doctor, a paramedic area support officer, the Midlands Air Ambulances from Staffordshire and Cosford and East Midlands Ambulance Service attended.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to the scene of a collision involving a van and a car which were both badly damaged.

“The driver of the car, a woman in her fifties, had a serious head injury which was bandaged.

“The driver of the van, a man in his thirties, had leg and back injuries and tenderness to his abdomen. He was immobilised at the scene.

“Both were flown to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.”

Ends

Hmed 09 2

Herefordshire residents urged to ‘think first’ before calling on emergency services

Monday 9th December 2013 – 3.20pm – Chris Kowalik – in conjunction with:

Wye Valley
Herefordshire’s health and ambulance services are urging people to ‘think first’ before calling 999 or going to their local accident and emergency department this winter, unless it’s a life threatening emergency.
Winter weather means more slips and trips and generally more of us feeling unwell with coughs, colds and other viruses, so it’s no surprise that more people need advice or treatment at this time of year.
However, West Midlands Ambulance Service respond to more than 26,000 emergency calls each year in Herefordshire and nearly 90 per cent are for non-urgent conditions or illnesses, such as coughs, colds and flu like symptoms, particularly during the winter months.
Whilst people may go to the most easily accessible NHS service for advice or treatment these inappropriate emergency calls put unnecessary pressure on the ambulance service and A&E departments across the country and take up valuable doctors and nurses time.
That’s why West Midlands Ambulance Service and Wye Valley NHS Trust are urging the public to ‘think first’ and only call 999 or attend A&E for life-threatening illnesses or conditions.
Michelle Brotherton, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s General Manager for Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, said: “In order to help reduce the volume of 999 calls and to improve the availability of ambulances to those members of the public who are suffering from serious illnesses and injuries, we’re urging people to consider whether their condition is a real emergency.

“Patients should contact their GP in the first instance or call NHS 111 if urgent advice is needed and it’s not an emergency. But if you do have a life-threatening emergency, such as loss of consciousness, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, persistent and severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped, then you should call 999.”
Jane Griffin, A&E Lead Nurse at Wye Valley NHS Trust, added: “There are lots of services available to help with a variety of illnesses and injuries which are an alternative to visiting A&E. These include local pharmacies, GP practices, GP out-of-hours services, and the walk-in centre (Asda, Hereford).

“People in Herefordshire could also save themselves time and be treated more quickly using other NHS services, as well as freeing up NHS resources to help those who are critically ill”. For details of local health services visit http://www.nhs.uk
Wye Valley pic (2 of 2)

Pictured above:
Back row left to right: Tom Davies and Simon Burrows (West Midlands Ambulance Service)

Front row left to right: Tom Pennington (West Midlands Ambulance Service) and Jane Griffin (Wye Valley NHS Trust)

Road traffic collision in Rowley Regis

RTC in Rowley Regis 09-12-13.

Monday 9th December 2013 – 2.10pm – Chris Kowalik.

A man whose car he was driving collided with the front of a house has walked away with just cuts and bruises.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Harvest Road, Rowley Regis shortly before 11.20am today.

A paramedic area support officer in a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance crew attended.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find a badly damaged car on its side, having collided with the front of a house. The driver, a man in his late teens, managed to get out of the car with just cuts and bruises. He was taken to Russells Hall Hospital for precautionary checks.”

Ends

Road traffic collision on M5

Monday 9th December 2013 – 1.45pm – Chris Kowalik.

Three men have been injured in a collision involving the car they were in, a lorry and a number of other cars on the M5 in Worcestershire.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the southbound carriageway between junctions 4a and 5 shortly after 9.25am today.

A senior paramedic officer in a rapid response vehicle, a paramedic  area support officer in a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance crew attended.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “One of the men had a pre-existing spinal injury and had pains to his shoulder and rib. He was immobilised and was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital. The other two men who were both ‘walking wounded’ casualties were taken to the same hospital.”

Ends

Ambulance Vehicles

Festive First Aiders in Birmingham

Festive First Aiders in Birmingham 1   Festive First Aiders in Birmingham 2

Festive First Aiders in Birmingham 3

Monday 9th December – 11.30am – Claire Brown.

With the festive party season upon us, the Temporary Minor Injuries Unit is back in Birmingham City Centre for its 7th year to treat worse for wear revellers.

The Temporary Minor Injuries Unit (TMIU), based on Broad Street, is as part of the fixtures and fittings as the Christmas lights and the big wheel are during December. It will, once again, be providing treatment to the walking wounded, patients suffering with minor illness and minor medical conditions and revellers who have had a bit too much to drink on the busiest festive party nights.

The TMIU is a successful partnership venture with WMAS paramedics, technicians, Central Accident Resuscitation Emergency (CARE) Team nurses and doctors, Fastaid Community First Responders and volunteers from the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance. The TMIU is kitted out to provide patients who arrive at the unit by ambulance or by foot with fast and efficient treatment to avoid a long wait in accident and emergency. As well as medical staff, the unit is supported each night it operates by special constables from West Midlands Police and Birmingham’s City Pastors.

Nathan Hudson, the Trust’s General Manager for Birmingham, said: “Weekend visitors to Birmingham may have already noticed our presence on Broad Street as we’ve been operating a smaller scale treatment unit on Broad Street for the best part of two years. This runs each Friday and Saturday night, treating an average of 60 – 80 patients each weekend.

“The weekend before Christmas and New Year’s Eve will see the return of the traditional TMIU to help us deal with the increase in 999 calls we historically experience during the festive party season.

“Typical patients who are treated at the unit include those who have had too much alcohol, suffered cuts, bruises, sprained ankles or have a medical condition which has flared up and needs treatment. These patients often don’t need a trip to A&E but need some form of medical intervention and the TMIU is the perfect place.

“On New Year’s Eve last year, more than 80 patients were treated at the TMIU and avoided a night at hospital. It’s always unpredictable in terms of what the TMIU staff will see but, what’s always certain is a steady stream of patients to keep the multi-agency team of medics busy to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.”

Alex Hayward, British Red Cross Ambulance Support Co-ordinator in the West Midlands, said: “We work closely with WMAS and other agencies on Broad Street every weekend, but we’ll be increasing our support for the TMIU over Christmas and New Year. Festive spirit will be flowing, but our team of volunteers are highly trained to treat a range of injuries and conditions, helping to keep revellers safe and reduce pressure on A&E, which is often busier at this time of year.”

Keith Hunter, Regional Director for St John Ambulance, said: “St John Ambulance is always pleased to work in partnership with WMAS and other organisations so the public can have fun safely. We have a team of highly trained volunteers who will be on hand to support party goers or anyone who requires first aid support in the city centre during the busy festive period. Having this unit means people can get treatment quickly, which could be the difference between a life lost and a life saved in an emergency. It also alleviates pressure on ambulance and hospital service.”

The TMIU will be located at the House of Sport on Broad Street on Friday 20th, Saturday 21st and Tuesday 31st December and is operational between 8.00pm and 4.00am.

 

Ends

 

Notes to Editors:

A breakdown of what each organisation will be providing at the TMIU is below:

  • WMAS – 2 ambulance crews, 3 responder paramedics, 4 paramedic officers.
  • St John Ambulance – 5 ambulance crews and four additional volunteers
  • British Red Cross – 2 ambulance crews plus an additional 3-4 volunteer Enhanced Skills First Aiders.
  • Fastaid – 6 CFRs on Friday and Saturday and 8 on NYE
  • CARE Team – a doctor, two nurses.
  • City Pastors – 2 pastors at the TMIU with an additional 4 working in and around Broad Street and South Side.
  • West Midlands Police – two special constables.

Pictured (left to right): Jo Jowett (City Pastor), Paul Slater (CARE Team Manager), Mark Walker (British Red Cross Volunteer), Mike Duggan (WMAS Paramedic), Louise Tomlinson (St John Ambulance Volunteer), Richard Jay (Fastaid CFR) and Phil Oldacres (West Midlands Police Special Constable).   

A press officer from West Midlands Ambulance Service will be ‘tweeting’ live from the TMIU on Friday 20th December. Please follow @OFFICIALWMAS for an insight into a typical shift for TMIU staff.

 

 

 

Advent Calendar Window 9 – Dave Pritchard, Community Paramedic

09 - CP - Dave Pritchard

Name:

Dave Pritchard

Job Title:

Community Paramedic

Base:

Bromyard

Length of Service:

10 years

Role within West Midlands Ambulance Service:

I respond to a variety of different patient groups in the community. I then assess their condition and clinical requirements which then allows me to decide on the best course of action for the patient instead of just sending them to hospital.
The community paramedic job is important because it helps ease the pressure on hospitals and ambulance crews and this is achieved through additional training in clinical assessment and a close working relationship with GPs, district nurses etc. in the area.
I enjoy my job because I feel I make a difference. I find a lot of patients these days, particularly the elderly think I will automatically take them to hospital and they can become quite anxious about it.
They don’t expect such a thorough examination from paramedics and they are much happier when there is no need to be taken to hospital as in many cases treatment can be provided within their community.
It can be an education to them that there are other ways they can be treated locally.

Christmas Day Plans:

I am looking forward to spending Christmas day with my wife and young son.

Top tip for Winter – Sign the winter pledge

Support the NHS Choices Winter Friends campaign and sign our pledge to look in on an older friend or neighbour this winter.
Last winter, about 31,000 people in England died as a result of cold weather. Most of these people were over 75 and many of these deaths could have been avoided.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of older people spend much of the winter alone and lonely. According to Age UK, in 2010 1 in 20 people in the UK aged 65 and over say they spent Christmas Day alone.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Our Winter Friends campaign aims to get 100,000 people to sign a pledge to “take time out this winter to look in on an elderly friend or neighbour to make sure they are warm and coping well”.
Everyone who signs the pledge will get free cold weather alerts and email tips throughout the winter to help them do their bit. Sign up here: http://www.pledgebank.com/WinterFriends

Man trapped for 90 minutes

Sunday 8th December 2013 – 9.20pm – John Hawker.

A man has been trapped in the car he was driving for around 90 minutes following a serious RTC this afternoon.

The crash occurred on the A41, Chester Road, Chetwynd, towards Newport at around 4.20pm.  An ambulance, a paramedic officer and the paramedic and Doctor from Midlands Air Ambulance Airbase at Cosford attended in a rapid response vehicle.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find a car and a heavy good vehicle that had been in a significant collision.  Both vehicles had suffered substantial front end damage.

“The driver of the car, a man believed to be in his early 60’s, suffered serious leg, hip, arm and facial injuries in the crash and was trapped in the vehicle.

“The man received emergency treatment whilst still in the car, including pain relief, as emergency services worked to ensure he was released as quickly and as safely as possible.  He was trapped for around 90 minutes overall.

“The roof of the vehicle was removed with the man being extricated and immobilised using a spinal board and neck collar.  He was then transferred by ambulance to University Hospital North Staffordshire Major Trauma Unit for further emergency treatment.  The Doctor travelled on board the ambulance en route to hospital continuing treatment with paramedics.

“The passenger of the car, a woman believed to be in her late 50’s, was checked over at the scene by ambulance crews but was not injured, and did not require hospital treatment.

“The lorry driver was uninjured in the crash.”

Ends.

Horse rider seriously injured

Sunday 8th December 2013 – 7.00pm – John Hawker.

A horse rider has been seriously injured following an incident in Warwickshire this morning.

The incident occurred in Lapworth at around 10.25am.  A community first responder, a rapid response vehicle, an ambulance and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance with a paramedic and Doctor on board attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find a woman with a reduced level of consciousness after falling from a horse.

“The woman, believed to be around 50, suffered head injuries and also a wrist injury.  She received emergency treatment at the scene by medics and due to her condition was anaesthetised by the Doctor.

“She was immobilised using a spinal board and neck collar and was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Major Trauma Unit for further emergency treatment.

“The hospital had been pre alerted to the woman’s arrival and her serious injuries.”

 Ends.

Notes to editors:  We cannot give a more precise location of this incident due to patient confidentiality. 

Motorcyclist injured

Sunday 8th December 2013 – 3.00pm – John Hawker.

A motorcyclist has been injured after a collision in Solihull this morning.

The crash occurred on Hobs Moat Road at around 11.10am.  A rapid response vehicle and an ambulance attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find a motorcycle and a car that had been in a collision. 

“The motorcyclist suffered head, face and leg injuries.  The 17 year old man received treatment at the scene and was immobilised using a spinal board and neck collar.

“Once his condition was stabilised, the man was transferred by ambulance to Heartlands Hospital for further assessment and treatment.”

Ends.

Advent Calendar Window 8 – Kev Morrey, Emergency Preparedness Manager

Image

Name: Kev Morrey

Job Title: Emergency Preparedness Manager

 Base: Bromsgrove

 Length of service: 31 years

 Role within WMAS:

I am a member of the Emergency Planning team at West Midlands Ambulance Service, covering Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire. My role is to represent the ambulance service in planning groups and safety advisory groups alongside police, the fire service and other organisations. We prepare ourselves for things like big events, bad weather, Christmas and the New Year as well as unexpected major incidents. If we have a major incident, I am available as a “tactical advisor” providing an important link between the other services involved and our own management.

 

Christmas day plans:

 I will be spending the day with my first grandchild and close family.

 

Top tip for winter: Choose Well – GP

GP Surgeries provide a range of services by appointment, including medical advice, examinations and prescriptions.  Make an appointment with your own GP when you have an illness or injury that will not go away.  They provide medical and health advice, examinations, immunisations, prescriptions as well as clinics. Every GP has an out-of-hours service available.  If you need this service, telephone your local surgery and follow the recorded instructions.  Examples of ailments best treated by this service are:

  • Contraception
  • Depression
  • Ear ache
  • Persistent cough
  • STI – sexually transmitted infections

Check out NHS Choices www.nhs.uk for more information.

 

Advent Calendar Window 7 – Jodi Bushnell, Scheduling Assistant

Image

Name: Jodi Bushnell

 

Job Title: Scheduling Assistant

 

Base:  Warwick Ambulance Hub, Tournament Fields, Warwick

 

Length of service:  3 years

 

Role within WMAS:

I use advanced computer systems to ensure there is a full complement of ambulance staff scheduled to work each day in the Warwickshire area.   I prepare rosters in advance so staff know what they are working and also make sure that day off and annual leave requests are granted and scheduled whenever possible.  With Christmas and New Year being very busy, overtime opportunities and shift swaps are always more common than normal.  Some staff prefer to work Christmas and new year, whereas others prefer the time off with their families to celebrate wherever possible.  We try to accommodate as many staffs requests as possible, but we must ensure that we have a full complement of staff working over our busiest period.

 

Christmas day plans:

I will be spending Christmas Day and Boxing Day with my family and partner, but will be back in the office before New Year to ensure that all shifts are covered and the Trust has a full complement of staff on during its busiest time in Warwickshire.

 

Top tip for winter: Choose Well – Pharmacy

If you are suffering from a health problem that does not require being seen by a nurse or doctor, your local pharmacist can provide advice on common illnesses and the best medicines to treat them.  Examples of the ailments best treated by this service are:

  • Allergies
  • Diarrhoea
  • Emergency contraception
  • Headache
  • Painful cough
  • Upset stomach

Check out NHS Choices www.nhs.uk for more information.

 

Fatal Crash in Freasley

Saturday 7th December 2013 – 8.45am – John Hawker.

Three people have died, and three people have been injured in a multi vehicle crash near Tamworth last night.

The crash occurred on Trinity Road, Freasley at around 5.10pm.  Two ambulances, a paramedic officer, a Community First Responder and a BASICS Doctor attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find four vehicles that are believed to have been in a collision; three cars and a tipper truck type vehicle.

“Unfortunately, nothing could be done to save a woman and two men that were travelling in the same car, and all three were confirmed dead at the scene by medics.

“The man driving a separate car suffered neck pain and was treated at the scene.  He was immobilised using a neck collar and spinal board and transferred by ambulance to Good Hope Hospital for further treatment.

“The occupant of the third car, a woman, was treated at the scene for minor injuries and did not require hospital treatment.

“The man driving the tipper truck, also suffered minor injuries and was treated at scene then discharged.”

Ends.

Notes to Editors:  We have no ages for any of the patients involved in this incident.

Four treated after fire

Friday 6th December 2013 – 9.40pm – John Hawker.

Two adults and two children have been treated at the scene following a fire at an apartment in Birmingham this evening.

Ambulance crews were called to Upper Dean Street at just after 6.30pm.  Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and a Community First Responder attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find a woman and two children that are believed to have escaped a serious fire in a first floor apartment by being lowered to the ground.

“The woman, believed to be 32 years old, and two girls, aged eight and four, all received treatment at the scene from medics for the effects of smoke inhalation.

“A man, believed to be around 40, who attempted to gain access to the apartment and help rescue the occupants, also suffered smoke inhalation and was treated at the scene.

“All four patients were all transferred by ambulances to City Hospital for further treatment.”

Ends.

Pedestrian Injured in Dudley

20130723-062532.jpg

Friday 6th December 2013 – 9am – Steve Parry.

West Midlands Ambulance Service received a 999 call to reports of a collision involving a car and a pedestrian on Peartree Lane, Dudley, shortly before 7.15am this morning.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Medical Emergency Incident Response Team (MERIT) were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find a man in his sixties had sustained arm injuries and a laceration to his head after being in collision with a car.

“The patient was given pain relief at the scene and immobilised with the use of a head collar and spinal board before being taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for further assessment and treatment.”

Ends

Advent Calendar Window 6 – Donna Dumighan and Lisa Smith, Dispatchers

06 - Dispatchers - Donna - Lisa

Names:
Donna Dumighan
Lisa Smith

Job Title:
Dispatcher

Base:
Stafford

Length of service:
Donna – 5 ½ years
Lisa Smith – 9 years

Role within WMAS:
Dispatchers work within the Emergency Operations Centre and it is their role is to send resources to help patients. This could be an ambulance, rapid response vehicle, motorcycle, community first responder, etc.

All incidents are prioritised based on the answers given by the caller during the 999 call. The information provided to the call assessors during this call will determine what response the dispatcher sends and the time in which that response should ideally arrive. In a remote location, this could be a helicopter or a community first responder. In a city with lots of people, a motorcycle might get there in the quickest time.

The role of a dispatcher is extremely dynamic and ambulance resources are continuously monitored, using state of the art computer mapping technology, to ensure the quickest response is always sent.

Christmas day plans:
Donna and Lisa will both be working a night shift on Christmas Eve meaning their shift will finish at 7am on Christmas day. Most of their Christmas morning will be spent asleep but they will be attempting to wake up in time for their Christmas dinner.

Choose Well – Self Care
A lot of illnesses can be treated in your home by using over the counter medicine and getting plenty of rest. Sadly too many people still dial 999 for conditions that would previously have been treated with self-care. For the vast majority of people all that you need to deal with a range of common illnesses such as colds and flu and minor injuries is a combination of a well-stocked medicine cupboard and plenty of rest. Examples of the ailments best treated by yourself include:
• Common cold and cough
• Flu
• Grazed knee
• Hangover
• Headache
• Sore throat
Check out NHS Choices http://www.nhs.uk for more information.

Man injured by fallen tree in Walsall

Thursday 5th December 2013 – 4.15pm – Chris Kowalik.

A man has been injured by a fallen tree in Walsall.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Woodend Road shortly after 1.15pm today.

An ambulance crew attended.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The tree fell on the man, who is in his thirties.

“Nearby residents came to his aid by lifting the tree. He had neck and back pain and was taken to Walsall Manor Hospital for further assessment.”

Ends

Road traffic collision on M6

Thursday 5th December 2013 – 4pm – Chris Kowalik.

A car driver has escaped serious injury, despite serious damage to his vehicle in a collision with a coach and a lorry on the M6 in Staffordshire.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the southbound carriageway between junctions 15 and 14 at midday.

A senior paramedic officer in a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance crew attended.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The car was very badly damaged, but its driver, a man believed to be in his thirties or forties, had managed to get out.

“Other than some pain to his shoulder blades, he had no other obvious or suspected injuries but, as a precaution, was taken to Stafford Hospital.

“There were twenty-one people on the coach including the driver. Three had very minor injuries and, following assessment, were discharged at the scene.”

Ends

Weather related incidents

Thursday 5th December 2013 – 2.45pm – Steve Parry.

West Midlands Ambulance Service dealt with two weather related incidents in central Birmingham and Staffordshire, earlier this afternoon.

Medics were called to central Birmingham near the new Library following reports of debris striking members of the public. Two patients were treated at the scene after one of the German market stalls reportedly overturned.
West Midlands Ambulance Service sent an ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) to the scene at 1.30pm.
Ambulance crews joined other blue light services and the local authority to evacuate the area as a result of inclement weather conditions.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “One woman believed to be in her fifties was assessed and later released by medics at the scene. A second female of the same age was treated at the scene for a hip injury.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service was also called to Sandon in Staffordshire after reports that a tree had fallen onto vehicles. A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find a person trapped in their car after a tree fall. The patient was released from the vehicle and treated for minor injuries.
The patient was conveyed to Stafford Hospital for further assessment and treatment.”

Ends

Advent Calendar Window 5 – Michelle Brotherton

Image

Name:  Michelle Brotherton

Job Title:  General Manager for West Mercia

Base:  Worcester, Hereford, Bromsgrove, Shrewsbury and Telford

Length of service:  20 years

Role within WMAS:

I am responsible for running the ambulance service in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire. I have overall responsibility of the management of staff, budgets, ensuring we have enough ambulances and rapid response vehicles to be able to respond to 999 calls and upkeep high clinical standards in order to ensure the patients get the best treatments possible. I deal with hospitals and clinical commissioning groups and the other emergency services. I am also a registered paramedic and I still respond to emergencies both in and out of hours.

Christmas day plans:

I will be the on-call duty manager for Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire. I will be at home on the day with my husband and four children and lunch will be at my parents. I will go into work to wish the staff a Happy Christmas, however, I could be called out at any time.

Top tip for winter: Don’t let the cold outside, make you cold inside

With temperatures over the next few months potentially getting really cold, it is important that we all make plans to keep ourselves warm.  Cold weather has a particularly bad impact on people with conditions such as breathing difficulties.  If possible, keep your main living room between 18-21C (65-70F) and the rest of the house at a minimum of 16C (61F).  You can use a hot-water bottle or electric blanket (but not both at the same time) to keep warm while you’re in bed.  Try to eat well as food is a vital source of energy.  Having hot drinks regularly throughout the day and at least one hot meal is also advisable; keep active in the home if you can too. Wrap up warm, inside and out by wearing several layers of clothing.  If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems, but if you do go out, wear shoes with a good grip to reduce the chance of falling.  If you’re worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your council or ring the Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66.  You may also be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. The Energy Saving Trust also has advice on how to reduce bills. 

Advent Calendar Window 5 – Michelle Brotherton

Image

Name: Michelle Brotherton

 

Job Title: General Manager for West Mercia

 

Base: Worcester, Hereford, Bromsgrove, Shrewsbury and Telford

 

Length of service: 20 years

 

Role within WMAS: 

I am responsible for running the ambulance service in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire. I have overall responsibility of the management of staff, budgets, ensuring we have enough ambulances and rapid response vehicles to be able to respond to 999 calls and upkeep high clinical standards in order to ensure the patients get the best treatments possible. I deal with hospitals and clinical commissioning groups and the other emergency services. I am also a registered paramedic and I still respond to emergencies both in and out of hours.

 

Christmas day plans:

I will be the on-call duty manager for Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire. I will be at home on the day with my husband and four children and lunch will be at my parents. I will go into work to wish the staff a Happy Christmas, however, I could be called out at any time.

 

Top tip for winter: Don’t let the cold outside, make you cold inside

With temperatures over the next few months potentially getting really cold, it is important that we all make plans to keep ourselves warm.  Cold weather has a particularly bad impact on people with conditions such as breathing difficulties.  If possible, keep your main living room between 18-21C (65-70F) and the rest of the house at a minimum of 16C (61F).  You can use a hot-water bottle or electric blanket (but not both at the same time) to keep warm while you’re in bed.  Try to eat well as food is a vital source of energy.  Having hot drinks regularly throughout the day and at least one hot meal is also advisable; keep active in the home if you can too. Wrap up warm, inside and out by wearing several layers of clothing.  If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems, but if you do go out, wear shoes with a good grip to reduce the chance of falling.  If you’re worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your council or ring the Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66.  You may also be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. The Energy Saving Trust also has advice on how to reduce bills.

 

Fatal RTC in Coventry

Thursday 5th December 2013 – 8.10am – John Hawker.

A man has died and two people have been seriously injured following an RTC in Coventry last night.

The crash occurred on Brownshill Green Road just before 8.30pm.  Three ambulances, a rapid response vehicle, a paramedic officer and the Trusts MERIT Team with a Doctor attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find a car that had been in a serious collision with a tree.

“Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that nothing could be done to save one man in the car, and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

“Two other men both suffered multiple injuries, including serious head injuries, and were rapidly extricated from the wreckage by the emergency services.

“Advanced medical treatment was carried out at the scene, and both patients were transferred by ambulances to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire for further emergency treatment.  Trauma teams were on standby awaiting their arrival.”

Ends.

Notes to Editors:  The two patients transferred to hospital by ambulance were very seriously injured and at the time of their arrival at hospital their conditions were life threatening.

Advent Calendar Window 4 – Julie Haworth, Driving Instructor

04 - Driving Instructor Julie Haworth

Name: Julie Haworth

Job Title: Driving Instructor

Base: Coventry Ambulance Hub

Length of service: 18 years

Role within WMAS:

I work in the WMAS training department specifically teaching all aspects of driver training. This includes new paramedics and refresher training for all staff. I assess new recruits and also give support and advice when driving incidents occur. I have been in the training department for nine years and I am also a qualified emergency medical technician and do go out on shifts occasionally to ensure my skills are up to date.

Christmas day plans:

Luckily, this year I will not be working Christmas day but spending it with my family enjoying the festivities

Top tip for winter:

Drive to arrive
Over the Christmas period, our roads can be hugely busy with people out Christmas shopping, heading off to see friends and relatives for the big day or even going out for a party. Sadly, too many people simply don’t make it. Each day our crews deal with road traffic collisions. Thankfully, modern car design means that most people survive, but tragically, not everyone does. You can play your part in ensuring you ‘drive to arrive’. We’re in winter and as such, driving conditions can be difficult: fog, frost, the sun low in the sky at rush hour – it all adds to the challenge. It can be as simple as slowing down when the roads are wet and arriving five minutes later than you might have done. If it’s frosty or snowy, make sure you clean all of your windows so that you can see. Use your lights when appropriate to do so in reduced visibility. Make sure your car is ready for the journey: have you got enough windscreen washer fluid, oil and antifreeze in your car; are your tyres safe and legal? If it’s really cold have you got a warm jacket with you in case you breakdown. They are all common sense tips that could make a real difference and help avoid the worst happening.

Advent Calendar Window 3 – Matt Souter, Ambulance Fleet Assistant

03 - AFA Matt Souter

Name:

Matt Souter

Job Title:

Ambulance Fleet Assistant

Base:

Bromsgrove

Length of service:

5 months

Role within WMAS:

I clean and restock and prepare the ambulances ready to go out on duty. I check the dates and amounts of each item in the ambulance and restock where necessary. I test all the equipment in the ambulance. I check the oil, tyre press and fuel up in time for the next shift.

Christmas day plans:

I will spend the day with my wife and two kids..

 

Top tip for winter: On your own? No problem
Not everyone has family and friends all around them. In fact the number of people on their own is increasing. If you’re one of them, there’s plenty you can do over Christmas to get into the festive cheer. Many charities and organisations need help. If you have spare time, why not work as a volunteer. Visit http://www.do-it.org.uk/ which lists volunteer positions within 5km of your postcode. Closer to home, do you have a neighbour who might be on their own; perhaps a widow whose family lives miles away? Why not take this opportunity to call in on them? There are lots of benefits to being part of a close-knit community and knowing your neighbours. Christmas and New Year can be a very lonely time for the elderly and ensuring they have enough supplies for the Christmas break will not only go a long way to making sure they are ok, but will also give them some much welcome company. Finally, keep busy. Physical exercise has been proved to enhance your mood, whether it’s going to the gym, swimming or wrapping up warm and going outside for some fresh air. Just getting off the sofa and going outdoors should make you feel better.

Driver extremely fortunate

Monday 2nd December 2013 – 4.30pm – John Hawker. 

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The driver of a heavy goods vehicle was extremely fortunate not to have been seriously injured following a crash on the motorway this morning.

The crash occurred on the M40, Northbound, near junction 12 and the Warwick Services at around 10.15am.  An ambulance and a paramedic officer attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find a lorry that had left the motorway, travelled down an embankment, through a fence and overturned in a field.

“The lorry driver, a man in his 40’s, had got himself out of the lorry and received treatment at the scene for minor injuries including a laceration to his back.

“He was transferred by ambulance to Warwick Hospital for further treatment.

“Considering the nature of the crash and the damage to the HGV the driver was extremely lucky not to have suffered more serious or even fatal injuries.”

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Advent Calendar Window 2 – Michael Dean and Simon Bruce, High Dependency Crew (PTS)

PTS 1

Names:
Michael Dean
Simon Bruce

Job Title: High Dependency Crew (Patient Transport Services)

Base: Newcastle under Lyme

Length of service:
Michael – 3 years
Simon – 12 years

Role within WMAS:

Michael and Simon are part of the high dependency team that work within North Staffordshire. They are responsible for transferring patients with a high clinical need, such as intensive care patients, from one hospital to another. Crews who work on the high dependency contract have a higher clinical skill set to those who work on other Patient Transport Services contracts held by the Trust.

Patient Transport Service crews from other contracts play a key role in getting thousands of patients to their non-emergency out-patient appointments. The Trust employs approximately 400 members of PTS staff who complete in the region of 800,000 non-emergency journeys each year, ensuring patients get to their appointments 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Christmas day plans:

This is the first time in many years that Simon will be off on Christmas day, however, he will be back in work on Boxing day. Michael’s last shift will be on Christmas Eve and he too will be off on Christmas day. Both will be spending the day at home with their families.

Top tip for winter:

Avoid a silent killer – With winter showing its teeth, it is really important that people are aware of carbon monoxide poisoning and protect themselves from this silent killer. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas that leads to around 40 deaths each year and thousands of others affected. Almost all of those cases could be avoided with the purchase of a carbon monoxide alarm. It can occur from inappropriate use of cooking equipment or poorly maintained appliances such as wood burner, chimneys or flues. CO poisoning has symptoms such as: headache, nausea and vomiting; vertigo; reduced consciousness and weakness. Even exposure to lower levels for a prolonged period can lead to lasting neurological effects including difficulties in concentrating and emotional change. Although the vast majority of people now have smoke alarms, having a carbon monoxide alarm is just as important and similarly doesn’t cost much, but what price can you put on the life of a loved one? Don’t take the chance; get a carbon monoxide alarm fitted and make sure it, along with your smoke alarm, works each week. Your life could depend on it.

Cyclist’s helmet averts more serious injury

Sunday 1st December 2013 – 8pm – Chris Kowalik.

A cyclist has his helmet to thank for not being more seriously injured in a collision with a car.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Meer End Road, Honiley in Warwickshire shortly before 2.55pm today.

A paramedic area support officer in a rapid response vehicle, an ambulance crew and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance attended.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The cyclist had pains to his chest, collarbone and knee. He also had bruising to his legs and had chipped his front teeth. However, it is recognised had it not been for the helmet he was wearing, he would have had far more serious injuries.

“He was taken to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire by land ambulance.”

Campaigns - Wear a Helmet - James Cracknell

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Road traffic collision on Welsh border

Sunday 1st December 2013 – 5.45pm – Chris Kowalik.

Two people have been injured in a road traffic collision involving two cars on the Shropshire/Powys border.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the junction of the A4113 with Pitts Lane at Stowe between Knighton and Bucknell shortly before 7.25am today.

A paramedic who, although not at work, was on call to respond from home nearby attended along with two advanced paramedics in rapid response vehicles, a paramedic area support officer in a rapid response vehicle, an ambulance crew and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cofsord.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The driver of one of the cars, a woman in her fifties, had to be cut free by the fire service. She had limb fractures and pains to her chest and abdomen. Splints were applied to her fractured limbs and she was given pain relief and advanced analgesia before being flown to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

“The other driver, a man in his twenties who had managed to get himself out of his vehicle, had aches and pains and a facial injury. As a precaution, he was immobilised on a spinal board and was taken to Hereford County Hospital.”

RTC on Welsh Border 01-12-13

Picture: West Midlands Ambulance Service

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