Some Dads are true heroes

Friday 14th June 2019 – 4.15pm – Murray MacGregor.

Ahead of Father’s Day, Richard Wilford from BBC Radio WM 95.6 talked to a man who played a significant role in saving his own son’s life.

Back in January, Jason Plant had to react immediately when his son Tommy had a cardiac arrest.  Working with an ambulance 999 call handler, Jason started giving CPR to Tommy, who at the time was just seven years old.

Two ambulances and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene and took over.  After working on him at the scene and on the way to hospital using blue lights and sirens, Tommy was passed to the care of the paediatric teams at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Unbelievably, just 16 days later Tommy was discharged from hospital.  Later that month, Tommy and his parents went to meet the crews who helped to save his life. 

Speaking at the time, Operations Manager, Wendy Hands, said: “This was a real team effort, from the staff in the control room who provided CPR advice over the phone, the dispatchers who got the ambulances to the scene so quickly and the staff who took over from Tommy’s Dad.   None of us can believe how well Tommy looks and we’re just so pleased to be able to meet him today.” 

Tommy was presented with a Birmingham City shirt with Tommy 999 printed on it as a gift from the Hollymoor staff.  The football club were also kind enough to donated six tickets for Tommy and his family to attend a future match.

Listen to the Jason’s amazing interview here:


Lorry driver trapped after leaving motorway

Friday 14th June 2019 – 9am – Jamie Arrowsmith.

A lorry driver was trapped for approximately one hour and 45 minutes this morning after his vehicle left the M6, collided with a tree and went down an embankment.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the incident, which took place on the northbound side of the motorway between junctions 13 and 14, at 6.05am and sent two ambulances, a paramedic officer, the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response  Team and the Midlands Air Ambulance crew from Cosford in a rapid response car to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews discovered one patient, a man, who was the lorry driver.

“He was trapped inside the cab of his lorry as a result of the damage caused in the incident. Ambulance staff assessed the man and continually monitored him whilst working closely with the fire service to free him.

“He was able to walk out of his cab himself after the fire service had cut parts of it away, before receiving treatment for potentially serious injuries and being taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further assessment.”


Picture courtesy of @staffsfire

Injured man lowered from 6th floor of building

Monday 25th March 2019 – 12.30pm – Murray MacGregor.

A worker has had to be lowered using ropes from the sixth floor of a building site after injuring himself.

The incident happened on a building site on the corner of Broad Street and Bridge Street in Birmingham at around 8.35am this morning.

An ambulance, two paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called to reports of a man having suffered a leg injury at the scene in an unfortunate accident.

“After receiving treatment at the scene, ambulance staff worked with the technical rescue Team from West Midlands Fire Service to lower the man from the sixth floor of the building.  A HART team paramedic was lowered with him.

“After receiving further assessment and treatment, he was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for further assessment and treatment.”


Weekend of assaults and ambulance attacks

Monday 10th June 2019 – 4.30pm – Claire Brown.

It was a weekend of utter disappointment and anger for the Trust with no fewer than five staff assaulted, and two ambulances vandalised.

In separate cases on Saturday and Sunday, five ambulance staff were assaulted by the patients they were sent to help in Birmingham, Telford and Redditch but thankfully no-one was seriously injured. One of the staff injured had been working at the Trust’s City Centre Treatment Unit (CCTU) in Birmingham when they were assaulted. Operations Manager, Mike Duggan, posted about his outrage on Twitter after his colleague was assaulted saying: “A poor start to our #CCTU shift with a member of staff assaulted  big thanks to @firearmsWMP & @BrumCityWMP for their assistance. Luckily the member of staff is not badly injured. This is UNACCEPTABLE and we do not tolerate it. #protecttheprotectors.”

On Sunday night, two ambulances were vandalised whilst on separate 999 calls in Birmingham. The first incident took place on Este Road in Yardley between 7.15pm and 8.10pm whilst the ambulance crew were inside a property treating a patient. The crew returned to their ambulance to find that an egg had been thrown at their nearside wing mirror which required jet washing back at the ambulance hub to remove the sticky substance.

Later the same night on Reservoir Road in Erdington, a crew were responded to a 999 call at around 11.30pm. When they returned to their vehicle at 1.30am, once they had treated the patient, they discovered that their windscreen had been smashed making the vehicle unsafe to be used for the rest of the shift. The vehicle is now off the road awaiting repair.

Craig Cooke, the Trust’s Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, said: “I simply do not know what goes through the minds of these horrible individuals. Not only have I had five staff assaulted whilst trying to do their job, two ambulances have had to be taken off the road meaning two less vehicles were available to respond to 999 calls.

“Thankfully, our on-board CCTV has captured some excellent footage which will be passed onto our police colleagues to assist with identifying and charging the culprits. I can only hope that the offenders are then handed generous sentences by the judicial system for their abhorrent crimes against a 999 service here to help people in their hour of need.”



Weekend of Asssaults and Ambulance Attacks 1
Ambulance side-mirror left sticky after egg attack in Birmingham

Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer to receive Queen’s Ambulance Medal

Friday 7th June 2019 – 10.31pm – Claire Brown

An Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer from West Midlands Ambulance Service, whose career spans 28 years, has been recognised in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List. 

Steve Wheaton, Resilience and Specialist Operations Director and one of the Trust’s Assistant Chief Ambulance Officers, has been awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Medal (QAM) recognising his dedication and distinguished service to the ambulance sector which carries the same level of Royal recognition as other members of the emergency services.

Steve found his passion with the ambulance service at the tender age of ten when he became a cadet with a local volunteer ambulance service. In 1991, he went on to become a cadet with London Ambulance Service where he spent ten years progressing to become a registered Paramedic. In 2001 Steve obtained a promotion to Duty Officer at, the then, Essex Ambulance Service before moving up the ranks to Station Officer, Divisional Commander and the Head of Emergency Planning. 

In 2008, Steve made the move to West Midlands Ambulance Service to head up and expand the Trust’s Emergency Preparedness and Specialist Operations team where he remains today. 2013 saw Steve seconded to the role of Deputy Senior Responsible Officer at the Home Office where he was responsible for rolling out the national Joint Emergency Service Interoperability Programme (JESIP) across all emergency services in England. 

West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Marsh, said: “I have known Steve for 15 years and, in that time, I have watched him progress and flourish within the ambulance service to become a knowledgeable and well-respected individual in his field. I am incredibly proud that Steve has been recognised in this way and would like to thank him for his tremendous service and for the thousands of patients he has helped along the way.”

Steve, aged 44, lives in the West Midlands with his wife Suzie and has three children; Liam, Chloe and Thomas. Speaking about his award, Steve, said: “I am immensely proud and humbled to receive this award. It is a truly great privilege to be recognised with a QAM and it took some time for the news to sink in.

“I still very much believe that working within the emergency services and the ambulance service, in particular, is a privilege and I have never forgotten the core values instilled in me by some very influential people throughout my career in the voluntary sector, London Ambulance Service, Essex Ambulance Service and now in the West Midlands. This award is as much for them as it is for me. I feel honoured to work with some amazing people during my 28 years, many of which have become close friends.

“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to not only my family for their never-ending support and understanding throughout my career, but also to my ambulance family for enabling me to do a job which is immensely rewarding.”


NOTES TO EDITORS: Please credit West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Steve Wheaton aged 16 at London Ambulance Service

Steve Wheaton, aged 16, as a cadet at London Ambulance Service.

Thank you to our amazing volunteers

Thursday 6th June 2019 – 8.00am – Murray MacGregor.

This week we are remembering the amazing people from right across the West Midlands who volunteer, day in, day out, to support West Midlands Ambulance Service and the public at large.

Literally hundreds of people support the Trust on a daily basis so it is only right and proper that we pay tribute to them during Volunteers Week.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “Whether you are a community first responder (CFRs), a BASICS Emergency Doctor, someone who trains people in CPR, a volunteer car driver or someone who raises vital funding for one of our air ambulance charities, your work is immense and helps to save lives.

“I would like to single out our CFRs who show incredible dedication; they are teams of volunteers who are trained by WMAS to a nationally recognised level and provide lifesaving treatment to people in their local community.   They are willing to drop everything to provide immediate medical care prior to the arrival of ambulance resources.  Last year they responded almost 12,000 times and were available many hundreds of thousands of hours.

“I would also single out the many hundreds of individuals, communities and businesses that have raised money or invested in life saving defibrillators.  In the UK, 135,000 people die each as a result of suffering an out of hospital cardiac arrest.  By increasing the number of defibs, many more lives can be saved.

“I also recognise the hugely important role our SALS (Staff Advice and Liaison Service) advisors play in supporting staff in a whole range of situations; I truly value the help and support you provide.

“The final group that I would like to single out are the Trusts Governors who help the organisation on an on-going basis.    The Governors represent the local community, staff and key stakeholder’s interests who together help shape the service.

“Whichever form of volunteering you participate in, I am extremely grateful for all that you do to support us.”


Bleed kits could save lives

Wednesday 5th June 2019 – 1245pm – Murray MacGregor.

Yesterday, a new scheme that could save the lives of people who have been stabbed was launched in Birmingham City Centre.

Fifty ‘Bleed Control Kits’ will be sited at locations thanks to work by the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership (BCSP) which has been working with campaigner Lynne Baird, of The Daniel Baird Foundation and West Midlands Ambulance Service.  The BCSP received £4,000 from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to purchase the kits.

The Daniel Baird Foundation was set up by his family after he was fatally stabbed while out with friends in Birmingham in July 2017. Daniel died shortly after arriving at hospital due to catastrophic bleeding.

Patients suffering catastrophic bleeds from serious injuries such as those caused by a stabbing, shooting or car accident can prove fatal in as little as three to five minutes if the bleeding is not stemmed.

Trauma Lead for West Midlands Ambulance Service, Shane Roberts, said: “The idea behind the bleed control kits is to buy the first vital minutes before ambulance staff can reach the scene.

“The kits have a number of items that could make a difference.  Things like a Tourniquet:

“The second item they have is haemostatic gauze:

“The third item is a chest seal:

Shane added: “The reality is that having someone take action in situations when a patient has been stabbed, shot or even suffered a catastrophic bleed from a road traffic collision could make the difference.  Getting help in those first few minutes could save a life.”


Trust to invest £40m in 300 new ambulances

Wednesday 5th June 2019 – 8.00am – Murray MacGregor.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is set to maintain its position of being the only ambulance service with no operational vehicles over five years old with the announcement of an order for 300 new ambulances.

The Trust has awarded the contact to VCS vehicle converters of Bradford for delivery over the next three years.  The first vehicle is expected to arrive in August.

The new ambulances, which will continue to be based on the Fiat Ducato van, will be designed and manufactured using VCS’s unique ‘Core Capture’ construction method to ensure they are the lightest and most technologically advanced in service anywhere in the world.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “Along with our staff, our emergency vehicles are our most important assets.  The five-year replacement policy means our staff are able to respond in a modern, high quality, ambulance fleet that is reliable and efficient and as comfortable as possible for patients and staff.

“The vehicles come with completely new equipment on board including the latest defibrillators and monitors.

“The innovation also means that we are saving money which can be reinvested into providing additional paramedics, which can only be a good thing.”

Mark Kerrigan, Technical Director at VCS, added: “Our research and development team has been developing innovative ways of saving weight which will bring a huge reduction in CO2 emissions and reduce fuel costs for WMAS.  This includes aerospace-type build materials that increase vehicle durability and reduce wear and tear on the vehicles.

“Using the new materials, we have been able to enhance the crash structures, which will improve safety while also allowing us to work with the Fleet Department and their operational staff to develop enhanced designs which will benefit operational staff and patients alike.”

Tony Page, General Manager for Fleet Services at WMAS, said ‘VCS secured this contract following a very detailed and competitive tendering process, during which they demonstrated a high degree of innovation, engineering capabilities and build quality.

“Their designs also complied with the requirements of the recently published NHS Improvement ‘Carter Report’.

“We are very pleased to be working with a UK based vehicle specialist, building state of the art ambulances that will allow our crews to deliver high quality patient care across the West Midlands.”


New Ambulance - VCS 19 Plate (Small)(Library picture)

I hope no other family has to go through what we did

Tuesday 4th March 2019 – 6.00pm – Murray MacGregor.

A new scheme to equip Birmingham city centre businesses and late night venues with specialist first aid kits that could save the lives of victims of stabbings and gunshots has been launched.

Birmingham Community Safety Partnership (BCSP) has been working with campaigner Lynne Baird, of The Daniel Baird Foundation and West Midlands Ambulance Service, to develop and deliver ‘Bleed Control Kits’ at locations across the city centre.

The Daniel Baird Foundation was set up by his family after he was fatally stabbed while out with friends in Birmingham in July 2017. Daniel died shortly after arriving at hospital due to catastrophic bleeding.

Patients suffering catastrophic bleeds from serious injuries such as those caused by a stabbing, shooting or car accident can prove fatal in as little as three to five minutes if the bleeding is not stemmed.

The idea behind the bleed control kits is to buy the first vital minutes before ambulance staff can reach the scene.

Lynne Baird, Daniel’s mother, said: “Daniel died very quickly after he was stabbed due to the level of blood loss.  Unfortunately, there was no first aid kit available that could have helped him and that’s why we’ve helped develop these kits as they could make a difference.

“I just hope that these kits might mean that no other family has to go through what we have.”

The BCSP received £4,000 from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to purchase 50 kits which were developed by WMAS and the West Midlands Trauma Networks.  WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “In cases such as Daniel’s, every second counts and being able to stem the bleeding could make the difference between life and death.  I also hope that the work of the Daniel Baird Foundation will result in kits becoming as common as defibrillators are so that many more lives can be saved right across our country.”

Staff at the 50 venues will receive training on these kits, and people who call 999 will be directed to the nearest kit and talked through how to use it by the WMAS call handlers who take 999 calls about such cases.

WMAS Trauma Lead, Shane Roberts said: “I am in no doubt that having kit like this available int he City Centre will undoubtedly save someones life.  in some circumstances it is those first few minutes that will make the difference between life and death.”


Pedestrian seriously injured in collision with car

Tuesday 4th June 2019 – 11.30am – Jamie Arrowsmith.

A pedestrian has suffered serious injuries following a collision with a car this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Wood Street in Stratford-upon-Avon at 9.44am and sent one ambulance and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, with a doctor on board, to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews discovered an elderly man who had suffered serious injuries in the collision.

“He received specialist trauma care at the scene before being taken to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire by land ambulance for further treatment. The doctor travelled with the patient on the back of the ambulance to help continue treatment on route to hospital.”


Sometimes old technology is still the best

Monday 3rd June 2019 – 5.30pm – Murray MacGregor.

While the ambulance service uses ever more sophisticated technology to help patients, sometimes, equipment that has been in use for 100 years is just what is required.

Earlier today, a woman who had fallen whilst out walking on a canal tow path was rescued using a wheeled stretcher known as a Bran Carrier.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called at lunchtime to the banks of the River Severn about half a mile south of the Severn Bank Caravan Park.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Unfortunately, the woman had suffered quite nasty injuries.  The initial crew had walked to her but requested assistance.

A paramedic officer, the Hazardous Area Response Team and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham were sent to the scene.

“The woman received treatment at the scene before she was placed onto the Bran Carrier for the journey back to the ambulance before onwards travel to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

“While technology and developments undoubtedly helped in her treatment, the Bran Carrier which has been in use since the First World War proved the most effective way of getting her to the ambulance.”


Bran Carrier Stretcher

(Library Picture)