Man dies in house fire

Jordan Eggington – Tuesday 20th April 2021 – 8:50am.

Sadly, nothing could be done to save a man involved in a house fire in the Black Country overnight.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called by the fire service at 8:48pm to a property in Park Road, Smethwick. Due to the nature of the call, the Hazardous Area Response Team was dispatched, along with one ambulance and a paramedic officer.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews arrived at the scene to find a serious fire at the property, with one patient involved.

“Unfortunately, nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed deceased on scene.”



Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 20th April 2021 – 9.10am.

Six West Midlands Ambulance Service staff from Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin have been honoured for their work over the last year (2020-21) with certificates from the outgoing High Sheriff of Shropshire, Mrs Dean Harris. 

The High Sheriff is a role that dates back to 943AD and was originally created to collect the King’s debts, maintain law and order and oversee public hangings!

Today the role is ceremonial, including supporting good works in the county and organisations including the emergency services. 

Mrs Harris, who served from April 2020 to March 2021, has now instigated three awards each for staff at Donnington and Shrewsbury Ambulance Hubs: Mentor of the Year, Student of the Year; and Outstanding Contribution Award. 

Unfortunately, the first presentations had to take place virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Mrs Harris, said: “We all know it’s been an incredibly challenging year, but even aside from the complications of a pandemic, West Midlands Ambulance Service does a fantastic job.  I’d like to congratulate the winners on their awards success, and I am delighted that there will now be an annual event supported by future High Sheriffs in Shropshire.” 

Donnington Hub

Outstanding Contribution – Chris Phillips

Chris has worked tirelessly during the year as a Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officer. The past year has seen immense pressure placed on the NHS as it responded to the global pandemic. Chris has gone above and beyond in supporting both crews and hospital staff to keep patients safe. He is passionate for patient safety and always tries to do the right thing to support staff.

Mentor of the Year – Steve O’Boyle

Steve has used his past experiences working on the Mental Health car to produce and deliver a training package for staff to help them feel more confident in dealing with a range of complex mental health issues. He has also worked hard behind the scenes to help integrate a more digital way of working into the Clinical Team Mentor team as well as the wider staff group.

Student of the Year – Katie Putwain

Katie has been consistently recognised as a very strong student paramedic from the outset. Like many others she has risen to the challenge of the global pandemic and taken on the role of Ambulance Care Assistant while the Trust responded to the pressures the NHS is under. Numerous staff have remarked that she is always a pleasure to work with.

Shrewsbury Hub

Outstanding Contribution – Heather Coghlan

Heather is a VPO (Vehicle Preparation Operative) and is responsible for ensuring the ambulances are stocked, cleaned and made ready for each crew. This is a vital role that ensures crew are able to spend more time providing clinical care, safe in the knowledge that their ambulance is fully kitted. Since the pandemic started, Heather has been extremely flexible in changing her shifts at short notice, coming in for additional hours to help support the team and has taken on extra responsibilities. Without Heathers commitment, flexibility and hard work the Hub would not have achieved so much whilst dealing with a pandemic.

Mentor of the Year – Tom Hillidge

Tom is an extremely competent clinical team mentor, who excels at nurturing new staff and ensuring they are competent and confident in their role. He will take time to use the training facilities to educate and guide younger staff, often giving up his break time to do so. He is always happy to go the extra mile in assisting staff and has organised trauma days for clinical staff to attend to improve their clinical professional development. These days have had a high take up and colleagues have benefited from the work Tom has put in running scenario’s. Not only that, Tom organised all of these events in his own time and we are proud he is part of the team.

Student of the Year – Joe Edwards

Joe was in his 3rd year at university when the pandemic struck. As part of the Trust’s organisational plans to deal with the pandemic, all students were asked if they would be willing to work for WMAS as ambulance care assistants to ensure there were as many resources as possible to treat patients. Joe joined Shrewsbury in March 2020 and has become an integral part of the team. From being a student with no clinical responsibility to becoming part of an ambulance crew must have been nerve racking yet Joe faced his fears and has done extremely well. He has been able to consolidate his knowledge and improve his clinical and communication skills, and at such a young age (21), he should be very proud of his achievements and can look forward to a great career ahead of him.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “I am delighted that the High Sheriff has instigated these annual awards, recognising the work of our staff.  As Mrs Harris says, the last year has been one like no other.

“As you can see from the citations, each of these six staff have worked tirelessly to make a difference, all contributing in their own way to saving lives and providing excellent patient care to the people of Shropshire in their hour of need.

“I cannot thank Mrs Harris enough for setting these awards up as an annual event, something which will be warmly welcomed by all of our staff in the County.”


Largest Ambulance Hub of its kind gets the go-ahead in time for the Commonwealth Games

Murray MacGregor – Monday 19th April 2021 – 6.00am.

Stoford Developments is set to begin work on a multi-million pound ambulance service hub for West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) after Sandwell planners approved the scheme.

The 76,000 sq ft hub, will be the largest hub of its kind in the country and will see a significant increase in ambulance operational capability for Birmingham and the Black Country.  The project, which will open in time for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, will be used as a staging point for the Trust’s preparations for one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

Once fully open it will house around 350 operational ambulance staff working shifts and replaces a much smaller facility in West Bromwich.  In addition, it will include a facility for the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), as well as fleet maintenance and vehicle preparation areas, the Trust’s Education and Training Academy and central stores.

Built on derelict land off Shidas Road, Oldbury, it will achieve the BREEAM Excellence rating, which rates a building’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance.

Birmingham-based Stoford Developments was appointed by WMAS to deliver the scheme following a competitive tender, with the developer putting forward proposals to build on former quarry and which had been earmarked originally for industrial units.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “This is a hugely important development for not only West Midlands Ambulance Service, but also for the people of Birmingham and the Black Country.  It is a significant investment that has taken over two years of work to bring together.  We are delighted to be working in partnership with Stoford Developments to bring this new facility online in time for the Commonwealth Games, an event that will let the world see all that is good about our country’s second city.”

Tony Nash, Director at Stoford Developments, said now the planning committee had formally given it the go ahead, he hoped work could start on site this month (April), with an estimated completion date of spring 2022.

“WMAS was looking for a strategic location in the Sandwell or Oldbury area, close to the M5, for its new facility and the land we proposed was ideally situated for its needs,” he said.

“The site has many technical challenges having remained undeveloped for 15yrs and grant funding from West Midlands Combined Authority has made the project viable.

“We’re looking forward to getting started in this national infrastructure project and delivering a facility that achieves BREEAM Excellent in design and construction.”

WMAS Director of Strategic Operations, Craig Cooke added: “At seven acres, this is a significant investment that will bring real benefit to the area.  The new Hub will enable us to improve the level of care we provide to the local population.  It is also good news for our staff as it will allow us to not only increase numbers, but also provide them with an excellent facility which is purpose built for their needs.

“This project also has national merit as it allows us to provide a much better base for our Hazardous Area Response Team who provide care in a wide range of specialist areas such as water rescue, hazardous substances and collapsed buildings amongst many others.

“I’m also delighted that we are investing in our Education & Training team.  We currently have over 700 students working with us and providing them with even better facilities will only help to ensure that we maintain our position as being the only ambulance service with a paramedic on every vehicle.

“Over the last year our central stores team has performed magnificently ensuring frontline staff have the necessary protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This new facility will continue our record of making it one of the most efficient systems in the country which will ensure our staff always have the right equipment when they need it so that they can provide excellent care to patients.”

This challenging site has been made possible with the financial support of the West Midlands Combined Authority, bringing jobs and major investment on what was a waste site in the heart of Oldbury.

WMAS serves a population of 5.6 million people and covers an area of more than 5,000 square miles, comprising Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and the West Midlands.

Stoford Developments has appointed McLean Construction to build the hub, which will also accommodate 365 parking spaces, including ten disabled spaces and 70 Ambulance spaces.


Woman dies and man seriously injured in RTC

Jordan Eggington – Friday 16th April 2021 – 8:20am.

Multiple resources, including two Midlands Air Ambulances, attended the scene of an RTC in Staffordshire last night in which a woman sadly died.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called at 6:24pm to reports a car had come into collision with an HGV on the eastbound carriageway of the A50 by Blythe Bridge.  

The Midlands Air Ambulances from Cosford and Tatenhill were dispatched, along with two land ambulances, a paramedic officer and a North Staffordshire BASICS doctor. The first resource was on scene within six minutes of the 999 being made.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “On arrival, crews found two patients from the car, with bystander CPR already in progress on one of them.

“The woman involved, who was already receiving treatment from a member of the public, was in a critical condition. Crews took over her treatment and administered advanced trauma care at the scene. But unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts, nothing could be done to save her, and she was confirmed deceased on scene.

“The second patient from the car, a man, was found to be in a serious condition from the collision. He was treated on scene before being conveyed on blue lights and sirens to the Major Trauma Centre at Royal Stoke Hospital. The critical care doctor and critical care paramedic from Helimed03 travelled onboard the ambulance with the crew and patient, continuing treatment on route.”


Two children taken to paediatric major trauma centre

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 15th April 2021 – 10.05am.

Two children have been taken on blue lights to the region’s paediatric major trauma centre after a two car collision that left six people hurt.

The incident happened at just before 10.00pm last night, Wednesday, on Lichfield Road, just after the canal bridge and close to the junction with Lewis Grove in Wolverhampton.

Three ambulances, two paramedic officers and the MERIT Trauma Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found two cars that had suffered significant damage.

“There were four people in the first car, two adults and two children.  A teenage boy had suffered the most significant injuries.  He was treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights to Birmingham Children’s Hospital with the doctor travelling with the crew. 

“A younger boy also suffered potentially serious injuries and was taken to the same hospital with the critical care paramedic travelling with the second ambulance.  The two adults in the car, a man and a woman, were assessed at the scene but had only minor injuries.

“There were two women in the other car.  Both were treated for less serious injuries but were taken to New Cross Hospital for further assessment and treatment.”


Library picture

Two air ambulances responded to serious RTC in Tamworth

Claire Brown – Tuesday 13th April 2021 – 9.40am.

A man received trauma care by a team of ambulance medics at the scene of a serious RTC yesterday afternoon in Tamworth.

West Midlands Ambulance Service received multiple 999 calls to reports of a collision involving an electric scooter and a car at 4.55pm yesterday (Monday) at the junction of Kettlebrook Road and Glascote Road, Tamworth. Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Tatenhill with two critical care paramedics on board were sent to the scene. Following an update on the patient’s condition from the first crew on scene, the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance with two BASICS doctors and critical care paramedic were also responded to provide further advanced trauma care.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “The first crew arrived to find a man, who had reportedly been riding an electric scooter, in a serious condition following a collision with a car.

“The team of ambulance staff worked together to administer advanced trauma care on scene to stabilise the man’s condition before he was airlifted by the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire for further emergency treatment.”


Two to hospital from motorway RTC

Jamie Arrowsmith – Thursday 1st April 2021 – 10am.

Two men , one of whom was found lying on the roadside, received treatment at the scene of a two-car road traffic collision on the motorway last night, before being taken to hospital.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called at 11.45pm to the Eastbound carriageway of the M54, between junctions three and two near Shifnal. Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and a MERIT trauma doctor to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to discover two patients, both men, one of whom was found lying on the carriageway.

“He was the driver of one of the cars and was treated for serious injuries before being taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham for further care.

“The second patient, who was the driver of the second car, was treated at the scene for injuries not believed to be serious before being taken to New Cross Hospital as a precaution.”