Man trapped in car for 45 minutes after leaving motorway

Monday 2nd November 2015 – 11.05am – Jamie Arrowsmith.


A man has been cut free from his car following a collision with two trees at the side of the motorway this morning.

Believed to be in his 50s, the man was trapped for approximately 45 minutes before being freed through the roof of his car.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the northbound carriage of the M5, just past junction one for West Bromwich, at 7.30am and sent one ambulance, a paramedic area support officer and the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find a car that had travelled down the embankment at the side of the motorway and the driver trapped inside.

“Ambulance crews assessed the man before working closely with the fire service to free him, ensuring he was kept as still as possible at all times.

“He was treated for neck, shoulder and wrist injuries, immobilised with the use of a neck collar and spinal board and transported to Sandwell Hospital for further assessment.”


Notes to Editors:

If used, please credit the image to West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Make it a bonfire night to remember – but for the right reasons

Monday 2nd November – 9.30am – John Hawker.


It should be a time of excitement for all, but fireworks and bonfires result in serious life changing injuries for people every single year. West Midlands Ambulance Service is urging the public to stay safe this bonfire night and have fun instead of a lifetime of regret.

WMAS Area Manager, Martyn Scott, said: “Unfortunately despite the many warnings issued at this time of year our crews are sadly all too familiar with people who have injured themselves in firework incidents.  I am in no doubt that there are people sat at home today still suffering the effects of burn injuries or having lost their fingers after accidents in previous years.

“Last year crews dealt with numerous incidents including hand injuries caused to people who were holding fireworks when they exploded, burns from bonfires after simple slips and trips, to the more extreme cases where members of the public used petrol or other accelerants on bonfires; resulting in the fire flashing back and causing serious burns, which can and will scar for life.

“In most cases we know that they could have so easily been avoided by simply using common sense.  It appears that people don’t realise they are holding an explosive device in their hands when they light a firework; it is always alarming when people are surprised that they get injured.

Paramedic and training officer, Krystle O’Brien said, “We understand that accidents occur, but we would prefer people to try and prevent accidents rather than put themselves in danger with irresponsible actions.

“If someone does suffer a serious burn injury from fireworks or a bonfire, the best course of action is to get the area of the burn under some cold water as soon as possible.  If the burn or injury is too severe for the patient to be taken to hospital with a cold compress in place then call 999.  However, please remember that 999 calls are prioritised by severity and all life threatening calls will take priority.

“As health care professionals we can use specialist burn packs to treat severe injuries and pain relief if necessary.  Recovering from burn injuries is not an easy process and treatment such as skin grafts are painful, and rarely fully cover injuries meaning people are often scarred for life.  We would ask people of all ages, is it really worth it?”

West Midlands Ambulance Service would like everyone to enjoy the forthcoming week and to stay safe; why not think about attending an organised firework display where possible?

If you are planning on holding a party at home, please ensure you do so safely and follow the Firework Code* at all times.


 Firework Code:

 Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 – it means they conform to British safety Standards

  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box.
  • Follow the instructions on each firework.
  • Light at arm’s length, using a taper.
  • Stand well back.
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks.
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five.
  • Keep pets indoors.

Useful things to have on hand at Bonfire parties:

  • Torch for checking instructions
  • Bucket of water
  • Eye protection and gloves
  • Bucket of soft earth to stick fireworks in
  • Suitable supports for Catherine Wheels, proper launchers for rockets

Firework Facts

  • A sparkler reaches a temperature of up to 2,000 degrees Celsius – that’s 20 times the boiling point of water. Three sparklers burning together generate the same heat as a blow-torch
  • A rocket can reach 150 miles an hour
  • A firework shell can go as high as 200 metres
  • The highest number of firework-related injuries happen at family or private parties

The most common injuries are to hands followed by eyes

Patients receive the highest standards of care despite it being a ‘scarily’ busy Halloween for WMAS

Monday 2nd November 2015 – 6.00am – Murray MacGregor.

There was no time for trick or treating for ambulance staff on Saturday night into Sunday morning after they had a ‘scarily’ busy Halloween.

With call numbers over 25% up on the previous weekend, the additional crews that had been put on shift were kept more than busy answering 999 calls.

Call numbers were above what would have been expected every single hour from 8.00pm through to 5.00am, except for one, 1.00am – 2.00am, where they were about what you would have expected.

For the period 8.00pm – 5.00am:
• Saturday 31st October – Sunday 1st November = 1,439 calls
• Saturday 24th October – Sunday 25th October = 1,143 calls

Here is a breakdown of the actual calls on Halloween against what might have been expected for a normal Saturday night into Sunday morning period:

Hour                                           Actual Call Numbers           Normal Call Numbers
8.00pm – 9.00pm                  173                                            140
9.00pm – 10.00pm                182                                            136
10.00pm – 11.00pm               168                                            125
11.00pm – 12.00am               191                                             110
12.00am – 1.00am                 171                                             130
1.00am – 2.00am                   152                                            155
2.00am – 3.00am                  162                                            125
3.00am – 4.00am                  142                                              90
4.00am – 5.00am                    98                                              70

Emergency Services Director, Craig Cooke, said: “We knew this was likely to be a very busy time for us so we put considerably more ambulances on duty than we would normally have done, but it was still extremely busy for our staff.

“Our staff had to deal with a number of very serious incidents during this period, but did so with care, compassion and tremendous skill.

“I’d also pay tribute to the way they use their skills to ensure patients get the most appropriate treatment for their condition. This ensures only those that need to go to hospital do so, thus reducing pressure on other parts of the heath service.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, added: “I’d like to thank all of the staff and volunteers who have worked this weekend for their very considerable efforts dealing with such a large number of 999 calls.

“It is only by everyone pulling together that we have been able to provide the best care possible despite being one of the busiest nights of the year.”


Our Staff 1

A tragic discovery in a ditch

Sunday 1st November 2015 – 2.25pm – Murray MacGregor.

One man’s died and a young girl has been injured after a car hit a tree and ended up in a ditch.

The car was found at around 9.35am this morning by two cyclists on the B5030 at Crakemarsh, Uttoxeter.

A community first responder from the Dove Valley scheme was first on scene and was backed up by a rapid response vehicle, an ambulance, a paramedic area support officer and the aircrew from the Staffordshire Midlands Air Ambulance who attended in a response vehicle due to the weather.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews found a car that was in a ditch; it had suffered considerable damage. It appeared to have been there for some time. It was very foggy at the time.

“Unfortunately, it was immediately obvious that the man driving had passed away.

“A five year old girl was found in the back of the car. She was complaining of abdominal and back pain. After being fully assessed on the back of the ambulance, she was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital.

“This was an extremely difficult incident for all involved including the two cyclists who made the discovery.”

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