Student Paramedic makes marathon effort for knife crime charity

Jordan Eggington – Monday 28th September – 9am.

“When you look into it, you realise just how many victims of knife crime there are out there.”

After what probably feels like the longest training period in history, Student Paramedic Amber Barrett is poised and ready to take part in this year’s Virtual London Marathon on Sunday. With this year’s race postponed from April to October, and now rescheduled as a ‘virtual’ Marathon, suffice to say it has not been an easy ride, but for Amber it will all be worth it.

Not only has it been a dream of hers to compete in the London Marathon, the other reason for Amber is a lot closer to home. She wants to raise vital funds for a charity very close to both hers and the Trust’s hearts. Amber is hoping to raise as much money as she can for the Daniel Baird Foundation, a local charity which does incredible work around knife crime. This is a very important topic for Amber because she tragically lost her nephew Connor to knife crime in another part of the UK six years ago. 

Student Paramedic Amber Barrett prepares for Virtual London Marathon

As a Student Paramedic, Amber knows all too well how heartbreakingly common instances of stabbings will be for her once she heads out on the road. Between April 2019 and March 2020, West Midlands Ambulance Service responded to 1,451 emergency incidents where the chief complaint was identified as ‘stabbing’ by the caller. That’s an average of four stabbings in the West Midlands a day. Of course, further cases may be identified once a resource arrives on scene.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has worked in partnership with the Daniel Baird Foundation to develop ‘Bleed Control Kits’, which can be found at locations across the region.

Patients suffering catastrophic bleeds from serious injuries such as those caused by stabbing, shooting or other trauma like a car accident could see their condition drastically deteriorate and prove fatal in minutes if the bleeding is not stemmed. Find out more about the bleed control kits here.

Amber Barrett

As a first year Student Paramedic, Amber said: “If and when I do start working out on the road, I honestly don’t know how it’ll make me feel, given my personal experience. I think I’ll be able to remain professional in that time, and afterwards it will be something I can reflect upon.

“I absolutely believe that education and getting into schools is the way to try and tackle knife crime, not only to help raise awareness with children and young people, but also with parents. It’d be great to get more workshops going to help parents understand the signs to look out for. One thing I have learned from researching knife crime after being directly affected by it myself, is that knife crime and stabbings aren’t just affecting your stereotypical groups of people. It can and is affecting anyone. But hopefully, if people aren’t carrying knives in the first place, we can slowly start to see a reduction in cases.”

Lynne Baird, founder of the Daniel Baird Foundation, said: “We would like to thank West Midlands Ambulance Service and its Chief Executive Anthony Marsh for his continued support for our campaign. The advice and assistance from the executive team has been invaluable since we launched. We’d also like to say a massive thank you to Amber for her support and fundraising.”

We wish Amber the very best of luck in the Virtual London Marathon on the 4th October 2020, and again for the real event in 2021. She would love to get as much support for the Daniel Baird Foundation as possible, please click to donate.

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