National Volunteers Week: Trust thanks those who give up their time for WMAS

Jordan Eggington – Tuesday 1st June 2021 – 9.00am.

“The past 12 months have been extraordinarily challenging, but it has been the strength, dedication and resilience of our volunteers and staff that has ensured we have continued to deliver the best patient care, in the safest possible way.”

Anthony Marsh, Trust Chief Executive

During an exceptionally difficult year, people from all walks of life around the region have taken the time to volunteer and in doing so, have made a huge difference to those within their communities. We want to take the time to pay tribute to them this National Volunteers Week.

Anthony Marsh, Trust Chief Executive, said: “On behalf of everyone at West Midlands Ambulance Service, I want to firstly thank those of you who have given up your spare time to help the Trust. Hundreds have stepped forward and continued to assist WMAS during what has been the toughest year for the NHS. From our Community First Responders (CFRs) to the volunteer 4×4 response drivers and PTS volunteers, all of your efforts have been extremely appreciated and have not gone unnoticed. The past 12 months have been extraordinarily challenging, but it has been the strength, dedication and resilience of our volunteers and staff that has ensured we have continued to deliver the best patient care, in the safest possible way. I would also like to pay tribute to the work of our Trust Governors, volunteer medics and volunteer car drivers who have all continued to support us throughout the pandemic.”

The Trust recently recruited 195 new CFRs who are currently undertaking training and ‘buddy shifts’ to get them ready to head out on the road. After this mass recruitment drive, the Trust is very lucky to have 373 Community First Responders willing to volunteer their free time in order to assist operational frontline staff and patients, in the event of a life-threatening emergency.

Ben East – Sutton Coldfield CFR

Another area within the Trust where volunteers generously give up their time, is within the Patient Transport Service (PTS). Within the West Midlands region, we currently have eight volunteers who are used to transport walking patients to and from hospitals; these tend to be renal and oncology patients. Within the Cheshire PTS area, 14 volunteers assist the Trust in this capacity.

There are external volunteers groups which WMAS also works alongside of, including the British Association for Immediate Care (BASIC) schemes and St John Ambulance. Another group of volunteers who have proved absolutely invaluable during the pandemic year have been the 4×4 response teams, such as Midland Rover Owners Club 4×4 Response Group and West Midlands 4×4 Response Group, who assisted in getting staff to and from work during the heavy snow in January. They also helped transport PPE and essential equipment around the region when demand was high.

Ian Antill, from MROC 4×4 Response Group, said: “Us delivery drivers generally had a few cardboard boxes as well as cages with PPE and cleaning materials which we collected from Stores in Aldridge. We also delivered (and collected) general post to locations visited, and occasionally the life-saving machines the paramedics use called Zolls. These and some of the more important paperwork e.g. ID cards, required a signature from the site boss or deputy. Uniforms were another frequent item for delivery or return. All the WMAS staff I encountered were invariably friendly and helpful. One ambulance man noticed my LR hat and we got into a (distanced) chat – he was on his 13th LR of all varieties – a real enthusiast. He was very appreciative of our 4×4 Response Group and our volunteering efforts.”

This National Volunteers Week, we encourage you to thank and sing the praises of the volunteers in your area by using the hashtag #VolunteersWeek.

To all our volunteers, thank you.

ENDS

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