News

Trust nominated for prestigious research award

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 16th July 2019 – 10.25am.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has been nominated for a prestigious award that recognises the huge level of input that the Trust has in pre-hospital research.

The Awards celebrate the contribution AHPs (Allied Health Professions) have made in supporting improvements in health, care and wellbeing.

The Trust made it through from over 200 nominations to the final of the AHP Research Impact category for its part in the ground breaking PARAMEDIC 2 research project which looked at the use of adrenaline in cardiac arrest cases.

The project which was run by Warwick Clinical Trials Unit also involved North East, South Central, London and the Welsh ambulance services.

WMAS Research Paramedic, Josh Miller, said: “We were nominated by Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, for the way in which we overcame the challenges of delivering research during cardiac arrests, which are our most serious 999 calls.

“Adrenaline is a medicine which has been used in cardiac arrest for many years, but which the PARAMEDIC2 study showed that although it helps restart the heart it can increase the risk of brain damage.

“The biggest thing that improves survival is the early recognition of a cardiac arrest by members of the public, people at the scene immediately starting CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and having access to and using a defibrillator as soon as possible.

“It also showed that ambulance staff can conduct high-quality research in the most challenging of circumstances.

“There is no doubt that the results will improve patient care; it shows that it is not the advanced treatments by ambulance staff that improves cardiac arrest survival; it is the actions of members of the public that makes the biggest difference.

“This is why it is so vital that everyone learns how to do CPR and we increase the number of public access defibs in our communities.”

There are many courses available on how to learn CPR, but here, Community Response Manager Cliff Medlicott shows you what is involveed:

More information on the PARAMEDIC 2 trial is here.

Further details about the awards is at here.

 

 

Motorcyclist fatally injured

Jamie Arrowsmith – Friday 12th July 2019 – 4.45pm.

A man has died following a collision between a motorbike and a car this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called at 11.06am to reports of a collision between a motorbike and a car at the junction of the A435 Birmingham Road and Pratts Lane in Mappleborough Green, Studley. Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews discovered the motorcyclist, a man, in cardiac arrest following the collision.

“CPR and advanced life support was administered but sadly, it became apparent nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

“The driver of the car, a woman, was treated for multiple injuries, not believed to be life-threatening, and was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham by land ambulance.”

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Dress for the slide, not the ride

Murray MacGregor – Friday 12th July 2019 – 8.00am.

While thousands of fans will be cheering on Lewis Hamilton at this weekend’s British Grand Prix, road safety campaigners are hoping that a six foot mannequin called ‘Colin’ will have an even bigger impact on the lives of thousands of motorcycle riders.

Colin will be at the home of grand prix racing this weekend along with staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service who will be in the Entertainment Zone working with Highways England as well as colleagues from police and fire, talking with the tens of thousand of ‘petrol heads’ about road safety.

Although motorcycle riders make up just 1% of road users, they account for 18% of deaths.  In the last four years in the West Midlands alone, there have been more than 1,150 crashes that have resulted in either the death or injuries that are so serious that they have required specialist trauma treatment.

WMAS Operations Manager and former ‘emergency biker’, Mark Hayes, said: “We started working with the West Midlands Police Road Harm Reduction Team last year looking at ways to educate riders on how to reduce the chances of them joining that grim tally.

“What we realised is that many of the injuries are much worse than they might have been because of the inappropriate nature of the clothing the riders were wearing.

“Too often in the summer we see riders dressed in only t-shirts, shorts and trainers.  If they were to come off, even at slow speed they would suffer horrendous injuries caused by them sliding along the road surface.

‘Colin’ shows the difference between a rider who was wearing ‘leathers’ and what would happen if they weren’t.  My colleague, Paramedic Adele Gregory used theatrical make up to make ‘Colin’ look incredibly life like, which often shocks riders when they see what could happen.

“What we want riders to do is: ‘dress for the slide, not the ride’.  By wearing proper safety equipment, they can dramatically reduce the level of injury.  There is no excuse for not wearing appropriate gear now – it doesn’t have to be expensive and you can even buy clothing that looks like jeans but is made of materials like Kevlar which provides excellent protection.

“Equally, we want to increase the take up of advanced education to make them better riders, thereby reducing the chances of them getting into a situation where they might come off their bike.

“I’ve been riding for many years, not just for pleasure but also responding to 999 incidents and know how just how much good protection is worth.  The message we will be giving to the people we see at Silverstone is simple: what value do you put on your health and life?”

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Dress for the Slide - Colin Poster

Children injured in Shropshire coach collision

Thursday 4th July – 6.15pm – Claire Brown.

 

Eight children have been taken to hospital and 16 others were assessed on scene by ambulance staff following a two-coach collision in Shropshire this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service received a 999 call to reports of a collision involving two coaches at 10.42am today (Thursday) in Millichope Park in Munslow, Shropshire. Three ambulances, three paramedic officers, the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham and a BASICS emergency doctor from Mercia Accident Rescue Service (MARS) attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews arrived to find two coaches, each carrying children who were on a school trip, which had been involved in a collision.

“With around 60 pupils and a number of adults on board, ambulance staff worked as a team to set up a triage assessment area to begin checking over those who had been injured.

“A total of 24 patients were triaged on scene and, of those, eight children required further hospital treatment. The children had suffered a range of relatively minor injuries; two were taken to Hereford County Hospital whilst six were conveyed to Princess Royal Hospital.

“The remaining 16 patients who were assessed on scene were discharged and didn’t require any further treatment.”

ENDS

 

Tragic death of Staffordshire University student paramedic

Thursday 4th July – 5.40pm  – Press Office.

 

The student paramedic, who tragically died last night in an ambulance RTC in Barton-under-Needwood, has been formally identified as Tammy Minshall.

Tammy, who was 31, was a first year Staffordshire University student paramedic who had been on placement with West Midlands Ambulance Service at Lichfield ambulance hub since May.

The Trust’s Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Nathan Hudson, said: “I offer my sincere condolences to Tammy’s family and friends and my thoughts remain with them at this truly terrible time.

“When it is one of your own, it really hurts and we as an ambulance service are hurting now.  We’re taking the time to provide support to all of our staff who have been affected and continue to offer our support to Tammy’s family at this time.

“We have been overwhelmed with the kindness and support of people who have sent messages of condolence. It is truly humbling and reflects the high esteem that people in our profession, like Tammy, are held in.”

Staffordshire University Dean of the School of Health and Social Care, Ann Ewans, said: “This has come as a huge blow to our University and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Tammy who has tragically lost her life. We will be working with our staff and students to help them come to terms with what has happened.”

The Trust is continuing to work closely with the police officers from Staffordshire and West Midlands Serious Collision Investigation Unit who are undertaking an investigation into what happened last night.

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Notes to Editor: Photograph courtesy of Staffordshire Police.

Fatal RTC in Rugeley

Thursday 4th July – 2.30pm – Claire Brown.

A man has sadly died and two other people have been treated by ambulance staff following a two vehicle collision in Staffordshire this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service received a 999 call from an off-duty volunteer community first responder (CFR) at 10.19am to reports of a two vehicle collision on the A460 Hednesford Road at the junction of Stile Cop Road, Rugeley, Staffordshire, at 10.19am (Thursday). Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and two Midlands Air Ambulances of which one had a MERIT trauma doctor on board attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews arrived to find a car and a 4×4 vehicle which had been in collision. The driver of the car, a man, was in a critical condition and was being cared for by the CFR and bystanders. Crews worked as a team to immediately commence advanced life support but sadly, despite their best efforts, nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead on scene a short time later.

“Two other patients involved in the collision were described as ‘walking wounded’ and had sustained minor injuries. They were assessed by ambulance staff but didn’t require hospital treatment.”

ENDS

Man dies in Coventry RTC

Thursday 4th July 2019 – 10.40am – Jamie Arrowsmith.

A man has died following a road traffic collision between a car and a tree this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Oxford Road in Ryton on Dunsmore, Coventry at 5.49am and sent three ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Critical Care Car to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews discovered a car that had left the carriageway and collided with a tree before going down an embankment.

“There was one patient, a man, who had suffered multiple serious injuries. Ambulance staff began treatment and worked closely with the fire service on scene.

“Unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts, it became apparent that nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”

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The passing of a University Student Paramedic

Wednesday 3rd July 2019 – 10.55pm – Jamie Arrowsmith.

It is with great sadness that West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm the death of a university student paramedic who has died following a collision between an ambulance and a car.

The tragic incident happened at the junction of Anslow Road and Belmont Road at around 5.45pm this evening.  We sent multiple resources to the scene including ambulances, senior paramedic officers, the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford and the Midlands Air Ambulance crew from Staffordshire in a rapid response vehicle.

The student was airlifted with critical injuries to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, but sadly she died a short time later.

Two other members of the ambulance crew were assessed at the scene and taken to Queens Hospital Burton for a check-up but were later discharged.

The woman driving the car was transported by land ambulance to Queens Hospital Burton for further treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

The Trust will work closely with officers from the Staffordshire and West Midlands Serious Collision Investigation Unit on the investigation which is already underway.

Trust Chief Executive Anthony Marsh said: “This is an incident that will affect every member of our staff. Our staff deal with difficult incidents every day, but to lose one of your colleagues will always make it that much harder. We are very lucky to have so many student paramedics who want to work with us and it is tragic that someone who showed so much promise has died doing the job that they loved.”

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Could you follow in the footsteps of Antiques Roadshow lifesavers?

Wednesday 3rd July 2019 – 3.05pm – Jamie Arrowsmith.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is challenging members of the public to learn how to try and save a life after the importance of early CPR was highlighted perfectly in Warwickshire yesterday (Tuesday).

A 999 call was received at 11.54am to reports of a man in cardiac arrest at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, Compton Hill, near Stratford-upon-Avon, where filming was taking place for the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.

One ambulance, a senior paramedic officer and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance were sent to the scene.

Jason Wiles, Lead paramedic for Emergency Care, said: “On arrival, crews discovered one patient, a man who had suffered a cardiac arrest.

“However, thanks to quick-thinking bystanders starting CPR and the work of the event medical team, his heart had successfully been restarted just prior to our arrival.

“We cannot emphasise enough the importance of early CPR when a patient is in cardiac arrest. We have nothing but the highest praise for the bystanders and on-site medical team who acted so quickly to help this man and ultimately saved his life.

“Would you know what to do in the same situation? We urge as many people as possible to learn how to do CPR as you never know when it will be your turn to save a life.

“Following further treatment at the scene from ambulance staff and the air ambulance crew, the man was flown to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, where he remains in a stable condition.”

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Pic: @ComptonVerney

Cyclist found seriously injured

Monday 1st July 2019 – 5.30pm – Murray MacGregor.

A cyclist has been airlifted to hospital in a serious condition after being found unconscious on a busy ‘A’ road in Warwickshire.

The man was found at about 1.45pm on Monday near his badly damaged bicycle on the A422, Arrow Lane at Arrow near Alcester.

Two ambulances, a community first responder, the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and two paramedic officers were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The man, estimated to be in his 70s was assessed and treated at the scene for potentially life threatening injuries before being airlifted to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire.”

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(Library pic)

Two motorcyclists die in separate incidents

Monday 1st July 2019 – 11.15am – Murray MacGregor.

Two motorcyclists have died after separate incidents within an hour of each other.  The incident happened on Sunday morning; one in Herefordshire, the other in Warwickshire.

The first incident happened on the A438 at Hollybush, near Ledbury at around 11.40 am after a motorcycle and a car were in collision.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found members of the public carrying out basic life support on the rider.

“They immediately took over and provided advanced life support, but sadly it wasn’t possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”

The second incident happened on Redditch Road in Ullenhall near Henley in Arden at about 12.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and a BASICS Emergency Doctor were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found members of the public, including an off-duty doctor assisting the rider.

“Ambulance staff took over and provided advanced life support, but again, sadly, it wasn’t possible to save the man and he too was confirmed dead at the scene.”

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Ambulances in the sun 2

Drowning at Chasewater Reservoir

Monday 1st July 2019 – 8.46am – Murray MacGregor.

A man has died after his body was recovered from the Chasewater Reservoir in Burntwood, Staffordshire on Sunday evening.

Initial calls at just before 6.00pm suggested two people in trouble in the water, near the Watersports Centre.

Three ambulances, two paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team and the Midlands Air Ambulances from Cosford and Staffordshire, both with doctors on board, were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “A number of boats and members of the public assisted in the search.  Firefighters and members of the Hazardous Area Response Team were committed to the water.

“When the 21-year-old man was recovered, ambulance staff tried everything possible, but sadly it was not possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

“Thankfully a young girl made it out of the water safely and was unhurt.”

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Chasewater Reservoir

Fatal RTC in Walsall

Friday 27th June 2019 – 8.45am – Jamie Arrowsmith.

A man has died following a collision between a car and a motorbike last night.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the junction of Beacon Road and Wimperis Way in Pheasley at 7.43pm and sent three ambulances, a senior paramedic and a paramedic officer to the scene.

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

“He was found to be in cardiac arrest with an off-duty nurse having already commenced CPR.

“Ambulance staff took over treatment but sadly it became apparent nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

“The car driver was uninjured in the incident.”

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A trial that has seen advanced nurse practitioners working in ambulance control is bringing real benefits to patients

Friday 27th June 2019 – 9.10am – Murray MacGregor.

A trial which sees advanced nurse practitioners working with paramedics in the control room at West Midlands Ambulance Service is bringing real benefits to patients and staff.

The programme that is being run by the Emergency Care Intensive Support Team from NHS Improvement, has seen advanced nurse practitioners from Royal Wolverhampton Trust working with the Emergency Clinical Co-ordination Paramedics in the WMAS Strategic Capacity Cell..

Strategic Operations Cell Commander, Martyn Pugh, said: “We have already seen a significant number of additional patients diverted away from being taken to A&E by ambulance due to the work of the paramedics in the strategic capacity cell.

“These paramedics work with the crews on the ambulance to find alternative ways to provide additional treatment to patients rather than have them taken to A&E.  This could be by referring them to other healthcare staff such as district nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and access to social care support.

“What this new programme brings is the chance for the paramedics at the scene to talk to the advanced nurse practitioners have specialisms in community health care.  This ranges from help with long term conditions, infections, respiratory and cardiac conditions.

“What we are finding is that many of these patients already receive care from the community health services and the advanced nurse practitioners are able to do access those details which allows the most appropriate support to be given.

“At this stage we are only working in the Wolverhampton area, but we will also be running a similar trial involving services in Shropshire.”

Emergency Clinical Co-ordination Paramedic, Kirsty Houston, said: “As someone who works mainly on the road, having rapid access to specialist care for long term conditions is very welcome.”

Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Debbie Callow, said: “We are able to talk to the ambulance staff on scene to see if there are ways of helping the patient without the need to take them to hospital.”

Emergency Clinical Co-ordination Paramedic, Scott Harris added: “There is no question that everyone benefits: many more patients are treated at home; it means ambulances are available more quickly to respond to the next call; it reduces the pressure on the hospital A&E Departments; and community health services can continue with their care plans for these patients.”

At this stage the pilot is being used as a proof of concept. Once the feedback from the project has been analysed, it is hoped that changes could be introduced more widely that would allow closer working between ambulance staff and community health care services.

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Car split in two after crash

Thursday 27th June 2019 – 8.55am – Murray MacGregor.

A man was able to get out of the wreckage of his car himself despite it being split in two after a collision with another car.

The incident happened at about 8.20pm on Wednesday evening on the A34, Stafford Road, near Pine Trees Farm at Huntington, just after the Pottal Pool roundabout.

Two ambulances were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “When crews arrived they found two cars that had suffered significant damage.  One car had split in two with one half overturned with the other half in a field.

“Somehow the driver, a man in his 40s, had managed to get out of the wreckage himself.  He was assessed at the scene before being taken to the major trauma centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital as a precaution, although initially his injuries did not appear to be too serious.

“Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to extricate the driver of the other car, a woman in he 50s.  She was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton.

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A34 Pine Trees Farm 27-06-19

Picture courtesy of

Fatal crash in Beckford

Tuesday 25th June 2019 – 10.30am – Murray MacGregor.

A serious collision between a car, a pedestrian and a stationary lorry carrying three caravans has sadly resulted in one man dying.

The incident happened at about 6.45am this morning (Tuesday) on the A46 in Beckford, outside Cotswold Edge Leisure Vehicles.

Two ambulances and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found a car that had significant nearside damage.  The lorry had rear offside damage.

“The pedestrian, a man, was found nearby.  Sadly, it was immediately obvious that nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

“A woman in her 20s and a man in his 30s were assessed and treated at the scene by ambulance staff before being taken to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch – their conditions are not believed serious.

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Motorcyclist fatally injured in RTC

A man has died following a collision between a motorbike and a car this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Ettington Road in Loxley, Warwickshire at 10.49am and sent two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to discover a man, the motorcyclist, in cardiac arrest.

“Bystanders were already performing CPR which ambulance staff continued, as well as administering advanced life support.

“However, sadly it became apparent that nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

“The driver of the car, a woman, was assessed and discharged at the scene with no injuries.”

ENDS

Serious RTC in Cotteridge

Tuesday 18th June 2019 – 10.10am – Claire Brown.

A woman and three men received trauma care by ambulance staff at the scene of a serious road traffic collision last night in Cotteridge.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called by the police to reports of a collision involving three cars at the junction of Northfield Road and Middleton Hall Road, Cotteridge, Birmingham at 10.15pm last night (Monday). Four ambulances, two paramedic officers, the nearby mental health triage car with a paramedic and police officer on board and a MERIT trauma doctor responded to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Ambulance crews arrived to find four patients involved in the collision being given first aid by police, a midwife and an off duty WMAS member of staff.

“The driver of one car, a man, was in a critical condition and received advanced trauma care by paramedics and the doctor on scene before he was conveyed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on blue lights for further emergency care.

“A woman and two men from a second vehicle involved sustained serious injuries in the collision. Each received trauma care by the team of ambulance staff on scene before all were conveyed, in a stable condition, to the same hospital for further treatment.”

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It’s a perfect fit; moving from the military to the ambulance service

Monday 17th June 2019 – 2.00pm – Murray MacGregor.

According to a former intelligence officer in the RAF, moving to the ambulance service would be an excellent move for just about anybody coming out of the military.

Chris Booker who is a student paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service says after trying civilian life, working for the ambulance service feels like coming home.

On Wednesday (19th June), the Trust will be holding an open day for those thinking of making the move.

HR Manager, Maria Watson, said: “Over 3% of our workforce belong to the military family either those who have previously served or those who still do in the likes of the reserves.

“We absolutely recognise that our ethos is very similar to that of the armed forces and would welcome anyone who thinks switching to the ambulance service could be the right move for them.”

The Open Day, which takes place at the National Ambulance Training Academy on Dudley Road in Brierley Hill, is open to serving military, reservists, veterans, cadet instructors and military spouses and will run from 10am – 4pm.

The day will give an insight into the recruitment process and provide advice and guidance on the assessment and interview skills.

There will be a chance to practice your literacy and numeracy skills, test your knowledge of the Highway Code and even have a go at the fitness test.

Chris says one of the things he missed after coming out of the military was the camaraderie, but the ambulance service has given him that and he’d recommend any of his colleagues past or present to follow suit:

 

Chris says after coming out of the RAF he took a job with the civil service but relished more to work than writing reports and sitting behind a desk and the ambulance service has given him that. He says the skills you learn in the military are an excellent fit with the ambulance service:

 

For more details about the open day, please email: maria.watson@wmas.nhs.uk

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.”

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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.”

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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.”

ENDS

 

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.”

ENDS

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.”

Ends

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.”

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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.”

Ends

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.”

Ends

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.”

Ends

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.”

Ends

Bran Carrier Stretcher

(Library Picture)

Insightful, educational and enjoyable…despite the bad jokes – my time at West Midlands Ambulance Service

Thursday 30th May 2019 – 11.45am – Daniel Rundle.

As I sat in my first lecture as a journalism student at Birmingham City University, I felt utterly deflated when I was told I was to complete a mandatory 70 hours work experience at the end of my first year, in order to progress into second year. I dreaded the idea of having to go and work at a news publication where I would most likely be given practically no real experience that would help me in my studies.

However, I found myself to be rather lucky in the placement I received. My mum has been a paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service for nearly four years and was able to get me a place in the Press Office at Millennium Point. On my first day, I was introduced to Murray MacGregor Claire Brown and Jamie Arrowsmith, the trio that I would be working alongside for the next two weeks.

They immediately made me feel welcome and gave me plenty of interesting work to get on with during my time there. I learned how to write and format a press release, and with their guidance I improved my own writing skills, as well as learning how to become more vigilant in the editing of my work to make sure it reaches the level of quality and professionalism that I aspire to reach. I truly felt like a member of the team for the time that I was there, and thoroughly enjoyed being in their company, even if they did have a seemingly endless stream of terrible jokes.

As part of my work experience, I was given the opportunity to spend time in the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Brierley Hill. Here, I sat with call assessors as they answered a range of 999 calls, and the dispatchers who juggle the priorities to ensure ambulances get to people as quickly as possible. During my time with the call assessors, I listened in on many different types of emergencies, ranging from heart attacks to a woman with a serious brain tumour who was experiencing extremely painful headaches. This call in particular was emotional to listen to, and it put into perspective how difficult the job of a call assessor can be.

In my time with the dispatchers, I watched as they sent countless ambulances to emergency 999 calls and was truly baffled by the system they use to do so. While I sat trying to work out what one small section of a screen meant, the dispatcher would be viewing multiple screens with hoards of information with seemingly little to no difficulty as they directed one ambulance after another to whichever patient needed them the most, occasionally diverting a crew if a more serious incident required their attention.

This gave me greater context for my shift alongside my mom on an emergency ambulance. I spent twelve hours on a shift with her and her crewmate, observing them as they attended to patients. We began our shift, and immediately had a call to a woman with dementia who had overdosed. When we arrived, the woman was confused and distressed, but the paramedics managed to calm her down and transport her to a hospital to receive further treatment.

We spent much of the shift attending patients who were generally unwell, and it was incredible to see how their state improved with the aid that the paramedics were able to give, both medically and emotionally. Their presence and support were often enough to calm patients, so they could be treated and where necessary, transported to hospital.

Although we didn’t experience this during my time on the ambulance, we discussed the frustrations of attending jobs that don’t require an emergency ambulance. While many people may not think this is an issue, it can potentially mean that there are no ambulances available if a serious call, such as a cardiac arrest, requires the attendance of an ambulance.

Around 10 minutes before our 12-hour shift was due to end, we received a call to a young girl having a seizure. Despite the shift being almost over, the paramedics didn’t hesitate in racing to attend the patient. When we arrived, it was clear that we would require additional support, so a backup crew and the MERIT team (Medical Emergency Response Intervention Team) were called. Through excellent teamwork and communication, we were able to stabilise the girl and transport her to hospital.

Working with my mom was a fantastic experience, as I got to see first hand the job she talks about so much at home. To see her in a job she’s so passionate about, offering life saving care to people, was awe-inspiring to watch.

My experience at West Midlands Ambulance Service was invaluable and gave me an insight into the lives of the hardworking, dedicated staff that care for the people of the West Midlands, and the vital roles each of them play in saving lives in the community. I gained a greater appreciation for all the work that everyone in the Trust does, gained new skills and improved on existing skills that will serve me well as I continue my studies and move on into a career in journalism.

Motorcyclist dies and pedestrian seriously injured in Rugby

Tuesday 28th May 2019 – 4.30pm – Claire Brown.

A motorcyclist has died, and a pedestrian is in a serious condition following a road traffic collision in Rugby this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Main Street in Bilton, Rugby at 10.12am today (Tuesday). Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance with a BASICS emergency doctor on board attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews arrived to find a motorcyclist, pedestrian and a car that had been involved in a collision. The motorcyclist, a man, was being given excellent first aid by off duty nurses who stopped to assist. Upon assessment by ambulance staff it was found that the man had sustained serious injuries and was in a critical condition. The team worked together to administer advanced life support to the man on scene and en route to hospital via air ambulance. Sadly, despite the best efforts of everyone, nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead a short time later at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

“The pedestrian, a woman, sustained potentially life-threatening injuries and received trauma care from ambulance staff before being taken by land ambulance on blue lights to the same hospital for further emergency care.”

ENDS

 

New lifesaving equipment installed in Staffordshire Moorlands

Friday 24th May 2019 – 1.40pm – Daniel Rundle.

A remote part of Staffordshire is now home to a lifesaving piece of equipment thanks to the installation of a defibrillator.

Located in Dovedale, the defib has been provided thanks to a donation from the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Chairman’s Charity fund, which was made by Councillor Ben Emery.

The defib, a device used to help restart the heart of someone in cardiac arrest, is in a secure cabinet on the outside wall of the toilet block on Dovedale Car Park. It can be opened by anyone in an emergency, with a code you will be provided with after calling 999. In addition to the defib, an emergency phone has also been donated which gives a direct line through to the emergency services by the push of one button.

Councillor Ben Emery met with community first responders Sally Stickland and Jon Lane on Wednesday (22nd May) to view the facility his donation helped to provide and find out more about the voluntary work of CFRs.

Sally Stickland, co-ordinator for Wetton and Alstonefield CFRs, said: “We’ve been wanting to get a defibrillator in Dovedale for many years as it is a very popular area with tourists and locals. We were pleased to be approached by Ben to see where the money could be used for a public access defibrillator.

“It has been placed in a locked cabinet due to its remote location and we were fortunate that the donation covered the cost of an emergency phone that was needed due to the poor mobile signal in the area.

“The phone has been used already a number of times by members of the public so it’s good to know we can be called to an emergency quickly if needed.”

Councillor Ben Emery said: “It’s been my honour to serve the Staffordshire Moorlands for the year 2017-18 as Chairman of the Council, and it’s been a pleasure to raise funds to enable a possible lifesaving piece of technology which will give everyone, including the lesser able visitors, peace of mind.

“The landline phone is extremely useful as it could be used for many other types of emergencies.

“I am delighted to thank the residents of the Staffordshire Moorlands and wider areas who helped myself and my consort Ms. Elaine Cashin to raise the enabling funds and achieve something that could benefit people of all ages.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Pictured (l-r) Sally Stickland, Councillor Ben Emery and Jon Lane.

Child suffers multiple injuries in collision with car

Friday 24th May 2019 – 12.30pm – Jamie Arrowsmith.

A boy has been treated for serious injuries following a collision with a car this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Walstead Road in Walsall at 8.27am and sent one ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival at the scene, crews discovered one patient, a boy who was the pedestrian, who required treatment.

“Following assessment from ambulance staff he was found to have suffered multiple serious injuries in the incident. After receiving treatment at the scene, the boy was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital by land ambulance.”

ENDS

Motorcyclist seriously injured following collision with car

Friday 24th May 2019 – 11.45am – Jamie Arrowsmith.

A man has been seriously injured following a collision between a motorbike and a car this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the junction of the A449 and A463 in Wombourne at 9.09am and sent one ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to discover one patient, a man, who was the motorcyclist.

“He had suffered very serious injuries in the incident and received specialist trauma care at the scene.

“Ambulance staff then transported the man to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham for further treatment. The doctor from the air ambulance travelled with the patient to help administer further treatment whilst on route to hospital.”

ENDS

Two seriously injured as car crashes into shop

Friday 24th May 2019 – 8.20am – Jamie Arrowsmith.

Two men have been treated for multiple serious injuries after the car they were travelling in left the road, overturned and collided with a shop in the early hours of this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Watling Street in Cannock, near to Longford Island, at 3.53am and sent two ambulances, a senior paramedic, a paramedic officer, a rapid response paramedic and a MERIT trauma doctor to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to discover two patients, both of whom were out of the vehicle on our arrival. The vehicle had come to rest against the DFS store.

“One of the men, the driver of the car, was treated for potentially life-threatening injuries. He received specialist trauma care at the scene before being transferred to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham on blue lights and sirens. The doctor travelled on the back of the ambulance to help continue treatment on route to hospital.

“The second man was also treated for multiple serious injuries, potentially life-threatening, and he was also taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham on blue lights and sirens.”

ENDS

Ambulance staff all set for Birmingham Pride

Thursday 23rd May 2019 – 11.00am – Daniel Rundle.

Over 80 staff, volunteers and students from West Midlands Ambulance Service will be marching in this year’s Pride parade in Birmingham to show support for the LGBT community.

The Trust will be joined by West Midlands Police and West Midlands Fire Service at midday on Saturday 25th May to take part in the parade. As with previous years, the Trust is also being joined by staff from other ambulance services from across the country as part of the National Ambulance LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Network.

The theme of this year’s pride festival is ‘Love Out Loud’ and is a celebration of the right to love both other people and ourselves in a world where oppression of the LGBT community is still present.

Ash Deakins, Paramedic and Chair of the Trust’s Proud@WMAS network, said: “Attending this event enables the ambulance service to better represent the community that we serve and demonstrate the service as an employer that celebrates inclusivity and diversity within its workforce.

“We are thrilled that the number of people from the service who have registered their interest in attending has far exceeded that of last year. I’d encourage anyone who is attending Pride on Saturday to come and cheer us along at the parade and we look forward to meeting you there.”

To see what our Proud@WMAS team get up to during Pride on Saturday, head over to Twitter and follow @wmasLGBT.

Ends

 

 

Fatal RTC in Pensnett

Thursday 23rd May 2019 – 10.25am – Claire Brown.

West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm that it was called to reports of a single car road traffic collision on Tansey Green Road, Pensnett, Dudley just after midnight today (Thursday).  An ambulance, a paramedic officer and a MERIT Trauma doctor and critical care paramedic attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews arrived to find a car that had overturned. Sadly, nothing could be done to save one occupant, a teenage girl, and she was confirmed dead on scene. A second occupant, a man, sustained injuries not thought to be serious and was taken to Russells Hall Hospital for further checks.”

ENDS

Motorcyclist airlifted from Whitchurch

Thursday 23rd May 2019 – 9.50am – Claire Brown.

A motorcyclist received trauma care from ambulance staff following a road traffic collision in Whitchurch last night.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the A40 in Whitchurch, heading towards Monmouth, shortly before 7.00pm yesterday (Wednesday). An ambulance, a paramedic officer, the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham and a MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic attended.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews arrived to find a motorcyclist, a man, who had collided with a barrier. Upon assessment, ambulance staff found he had sustained serious injuries and the team administered trauma care on scene. Once stable the man was airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol for further emergency care.”

ENDS

Crash on the M50

Wednesday 22nd May 2019 – 4.35pm – Murray MacGregor.

Two people have been hurt after a lorry and a car collided leaving the lorry straddling a motorway central reservation.

The crash happened at about 2.20pm on Wednesday on the westbound M50 between junctions 1 and 2.

An ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found the HGV on the central reservation and a car on its side; both had significant damage.

“The car driver was trapped for around 20 minutes.  Ambulance and fire crews worked to extricate her safely.  She was assessed at the scene before being airlifted to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

“The lorry driver was able to get out of the cab himself despite the damage.  He was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken by land ambulance to the same hospital.”

The road is likely to be closed for some time due to the damage and recovery work.

Ends

M50 RTC

Man dies after crash

Wednesday 22nd May 2019 – 9.21am – Murray MacGregor.

One man has died and four other people have been hurt after a two vehicle crash.

The collision happened at about 1.10am on Frankley Lane near the junction of Scotland Lane in the Kitwell area of south west Birmingham.

Five ambulances, three paramedic officers, the MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic and the Hazardous Area Response Team were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “When crews arrived, they found two cars that had been in collision; one had subsequently caught fire.

“There were three men in the first car.  Sadly, one was confirmed dead at the scene.

“The other two were treated at the scene for injuries not thought to be life-threatening and were taken by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

“There were two people in the other car.  The driver, a man, and a women in rear; they were both treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries and were also taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.”

Ends

Blue Lights at Night (2)

Are you really fine?

Tuesday 14th May 2019 – 3.50pm – Murray MacGregor.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, the average adult will say “I’m fine” 14 times this week, Mental Health Awareness Week, yet less than 20% will actually mean it!

It’s been known for some time that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.  In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

Over recent years, we have been working hard to improve the support we provide to our staff.  Given the types of cases that they deal with, we need to be sure that we get better at making sure their mental wellbeing really is ‘fine’.

Director of Workforce, Kim Nurse, said: “We have 24-hour support through their management team, our Staff Advice and Liaison Service (SALS) and the Trust is employing two psychotherapists who will provide dedicated help for staff.  We also procure specialist support from an external counselling service The Listening Centre who can support staff with a variety of help.

“With a workforce of over 5,000, we want to be certain that we have a range of support in place to assist our staff stay mentally well in addition to their physical health.   We know that some of the cases that our staff deal with are extremely difficult, so we want to do as much as we can to support their wellbeing.

“Another important development for the Trust is our training of hundreds of staff in Mental Health First Aid courses.  These courses teach our staff to spot the symptoms of mental health issues, offer initial help and guide a person towards support.  The training teaches people to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and potentially reach out to someone before a crisis happens.  Feedback has been really positive, and all courses have been fully attended with a waiting list for staff wanting to be included in the future.

“As a Trust we have moved forward significantly, but recognise that we need to keep moving forward so that we can continue to support our staff so that they can support the public when they need us most.”

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One airlifted after RTC

Monday 13th May 2019 – 1.55pm – Murray MacGregor.

One person has been airlifted and another treated after a two vehicle crash that saw two cars leave the dual carriageway and go down an embankment into some trees.

The incident happened this morning at about 9.45am on the A46 between Harvington and Salford Priors in Warwickshire.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “One arrival, ambulance staff found two cars, one of which was seriously damaged.

“The driver of the first car had suffered serious injuries.  Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to extricate her.  She was assessed and treated on the scene before being airlifted to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

“The middle-aged man driving the other vehicle, was able to get out of the car himself.  After assessment at the scene, he was taken to Warwick Hospital for continued care.

Ends

HMED 09 at sunset

Rider dies after crash in Velo

Monday 13th May 2019 – 8.45am – Murray MacGregor.

A cyclist participating in Vélo Birmingham & Midlands has died after coming off his bike.

It happened at about 7.45am on Coleshill Road, Atherstone, which was at around the 23 mile mark, happened on is a rural location with a steep downhill section with tight left and right bends.

An event medic was first on scene and immediately requested ambulance back up.  An ambulance and the Derbyshire Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance were sent.

A West Midlands Air Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The middle aged man suffered serious injuries.

“He received advanced life support before being airlifted to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire but sadly died later.

“A second patient who was present at the scene was treated by event medical staff.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to call Warwickshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 84 of 12th May.

Ends

Hmed54

Wall collapse in Birmingham

Thursday 9th May 2019 – 7.45am – Murray MacGregor.

One man has died and two others have been assessed by ambulance staff after a wall collapsed at a property in the Hockley area of Birmngham.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Vittoria Street at 5.40pm on Wednesday evening.

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

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff were faced with the aftermath of a wall collapse.

“Tragically, one man was confirmed dead at the scene.

“A second man was assessed and treated by ambulance staff before being taken to Sandwell Hospital.  A third was assessed and discharged at the scene.

“Ambulance staff worked closely with police and fire crews at the scene.”

Ends

Wall Collapse - Vittoria Street

 

 

 

 

Motorcyclist fatally injured

Wednesday 8th May 2019 – 5.30pm – Jamie Arrowsmith.

A man has died following a collision between two cars and a motorbike this afternoon.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Shrewsbury Road in Preston Gubbals, Shrewsbury at 1.14pm and sent three ambulances, a paramedic officer 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 the motorcyclist, a man, with very serious injuries following the collision.

“Ambulance staff performed CPR and administered advanced life support but sadly it became apparent nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

“Following assessment at the scene, a man from one of the cars was taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital as a precaution.

“A man and a woman who were travelling in the second car were discharged at the scene.”

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Woman seriously injured in rollover RTC

Wednesday 8th May 2019 – 3.45pm – Jamie Arrowsmith.

A woman has been taken to hospital in a serious condition following a two-car collision this afternoon.

A total of three patients were assessed, including a second woman and a toddler, both of whom also required transporting to hospital after they received treatment at the scene.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Wolverhampton Road in Oldbury at 1.47pm and sent three ambulances, two paramedic officers, the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team, the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car, a BASICS doctor from MARS (Mercia Accident Rescue Service) and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews arrived to find two cars that had suffered significant damage in the collision.

“From the first car, a woman had to be cut free with the help of the fire service. She was treated for very serious injuries by ambulance staff before being taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital by land ambulance in a critical condition. A MARS doctor travelled on the back of the ambulance to continue treatment on route.

“A female toddler had been freed from the car by bystanders prior to the arrival of ambulance resources. She was assessed and treated for injuries not believed to be life-threatening before being taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital by land ambulance.

“The fire service had to cut a second woman free from the other car involved in the incident, which had overturned.

“She received treatment for potentially serious injuries before also being taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital by land ambulance. Again, a doctor travelled with her on her journey to help continue treatment.”

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Shooting in Wolverhampton

Monday 7th May 2019 – 8.35am – Murray MacGregor.

Ambulance staff and a doctor treated a teenager who was shot in Wolverhampton last night (Monday 6th May).

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Graiseley Street in the Pennfields area at 7.49pm to reports of an assault.

An ambulance was on scene within five minutes and was backed up by two paramedic officers and the MERIT Trauma Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic.

The teenager was treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights to hospital; the doctor travelled with the crew.

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ASO in mirror reflection

Trust takes part in trial that could help thousands of patients

Tuesday 7th May 2019 – 6.00am – Murray MacGregor.

Paramedics in the West Midlands are taking part in a clinical trial that could result in thousands fewer patients with heart complaints being taken to hospital; instead being treated at home.

The study, titled PRESTO (the Pre-hospital Evaluation of Sensitive Troponin), is part of the NHS’ ambition to find new ways of delivering healthcare more efficiently without the need for hospital treatment.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is working with three other ambulance services in the trial which is led by the University of Manchester and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

Consultant Paramedic, Matt Ward, said: “Chest pain is the second most common reason why people call 999.  However, it doesn’t always mean the patient is having a heart attack; the symptoms are often similar for non-cardiac conditions.

“What this trial is aiming to do is to allow paramedics to carry out a test at scene which would allow them to know which are which.  If the research is positive it could result in ambulance staff being able to provide reassurance much sooner to patients with chest pain while also reducing the number of patients ambulance crews take to A&E departments.”

The trial will be run in Coventry & Warwickshire; the Trust will work with Warwick Hospital and University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire.

For patients willing to take part, they will continue to get exactly the same treatment as they do now except for the paramedic taking a small vial of blood at the scene.  In total, it is hoped 100 patients will take part locally; 700 nationally.

Researchers have already developed a system called the ‘Troponin-only Manchester Acute Coronary Syndromes (T-MACS) decision aid’ to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions from A&E and enable earlier specialist treatment to those that need it.  Over a third of all patients having the test do not need to be admitted to hospital.  The PRESTO study is now assessing whether this decision aid is suitable for use before patients are taken to hospital.

WMAS Research Paramedic, Imogen Gunson, added: “If the trial is successful it could be possible to provide all ambulances with a portable blood testing device which would allow ambulance staff to run these important tests without patients having to be taken to the hospital.

“The impact would be huge; clinicians would be able to make more informed decisions about the best patient care with more in-depth tests at the patient’s side at scene.  As well as providing those patients with non-cardiac related chest pain with reassurance, it would mean those that are having acute coronary problems would receive treatment more quickly resulting in better treatment and potentially saving lives.”

The study is supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network: Greater Manchester and receiving in kind support from Abbott Point of Care, LumiraDx and Roche Diagnostics International Ltd.Hospital - UHCW 6

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It’s not smart; it’s certainly not clever; in fact it can put lives at risk

Thursday 2nd May 2019 – 8.00am – Murray MacGregor.

Bosses at West Midlands Ambulance Service are warning that lives could be at risk if people continue to make hoax calls to the service.

New data shows that over the last five years, there have been almost 5,500 malicious call outs.

This has not only wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayer cash, it could have put lives at risk because it delayed answering calls to and responding to patient who are critically ill or injured.

Year Number of Hoax Calls
2014-15 1,171
2015-16 1,283
2016-17 905
2017-18 990
2018-19 1,088
Total 5,437

Jeremy Brown, who is charge of the regions two ambulance emergency operations centres said: “At a time when we are busier than ever, the fact that some people think it is appropriate to deliberately make 999 calls when there is no need is despicable.

“Given we now regularly receive around 4,000 emergency calls each day, the fact that the numbers have remained largely at the same level shows the tremendous dedication of my staff who challenge calls and ensure resources are not sent to a good proportion of these hoax calls.

“With a Bank Holiday ahead and children off school, we would urge parents and guardians to be mindful that quite a lot of hoax calls do come from youngsters.

“Over the years we have seen all sorts of calls: we’ve had people calling about patients not breathing, serious road traffic collisions, patients committing suicide and claims patients are about to die.  Understandably, these can be distressing for my call handlers, but when we then send vital resources on blue lights to these cases only to find that there is no-one there, you can imagine what we think.

“Not only has it tied up a call handler dealing with the call, it means those ambulances have had to drive on blue lights through often busy streets putting other drivers at risk, only to find that there was no need.  Worse, it means they weren’t here for patients who were genuinely in need of that response.  It is appalling.

“We have seen a number of people charged and convicted where they have maliciously abused the 999 call system and we will not hesitate to push for prosecutions again, if that is appropriate.

“Considering we now receive well over a million calls a year, thankfully the number of these which are hoaxes is still very low, but even one is one too many.  We would ask everyone to help us reduce these numbers further so that we can provide the best possible service to the people who need us most.”

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call assessors TG 2018