Thursday 23rd October 2014 – 9.30am – Claire Brown.
With the clocks going back this weekend, this means darker nights and more challenges for the ambulance service.
Black Country Paramedic Area Support Officer Huw Jones has some useful advice so that you can do your bit to help us to see you and find you in the dark:
Are you visible?
Huw said: “As any motorist will tell you, in the dark it’s obviously harder to spot pedestrians, cyclists and anything that isn’t well lit. If you’re a cyclist, it’s important that your bike is fitted with clear, bright lights and that you’re wearing high visibility reflective clothing so that you are clearly visible on the road. Additionally, as an ambulance service we always advise you to wear a helmet.
“We urge pedestrians to wear bright, reflective clothing so that we can see you. Parents, think about your children. As the year goes on and the days get even shorter, they’ll be travelling to and from school in darkness or near darkness so make sure they’re kitted out with a bright coat with reflective strips, a school bag with high visibility markings or even simple reflective arm bands so that they are clearly visible to motorists when it’s dark. It’s simple, be bright and be seen.”
Can we find you?
When a 999 call comes in, it’s vital that we can find your address quickly, day or night. Huw explains: “Whether you drive an ambulance, a police car or a fire engine, when you’re responding to a 999 call it’s really frustrating not being able to find an address.
“Our crews regularly find house numbers and even road signs obscured by hedges that have overgrown over the summer or paint work that has faded. When it’s dark, it’s even more difficult to spot properties.
“If we can’t see your house name or number from the roadside, we’re going to be delayed getting to you. What I need is for your house number or name to be clearly visible from the road and lit up at night to save those vital seconds which ultimately can make a significant difference to a patient’s outcome.
“What’s even better is to get someone to wait outside a property, waving their arms to flag us down so that we know exactly where we’re going. It may sound simple but it’s a welcomed sight for us and saves valuable time.”