Police Inspector Thanks 999 Call Handler

A Metropolitan Police Inspector has thanked a South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) 999 call handler for saving him when he became seriously ill, alone on an isolated footpath.

Inspector Dave George collapsed in hot weather on the South West Coast Path between Penzance and Land’s End in Cornwall during a solo training exercise for a charity walk.

The 43-year-old experienced “crushing” chest pains and was struggling to breathe after walking for several hours in the heat.

Inspector George, who was off-duty at the time of the incident in August, feared the worst, but managed to call 999 to get help.

SWASFT Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Olivia Molyneux, assessed his condition and stayed on the phone to him while crews travelled to the remote location.

Inspector George made a special visit to the SWASFT North Clinical Hub near Bristol to thank Olivia in person.
Inspector George made a special visit to the SWASFT North Clinical Hub near Bristol to thank Olivia in person.

“I thought that was it,” he said. “I was on my own, and needed help. It was a desperate situation. The response from everyone was amazing.”

“I wanted to thank Olivia personally, because call handlers don’t tend to get the recognition they deserve.”

Inspector George also sent a letter of thanks to SWASFT Chief Executive, Ken Wenman. He said: “The call handler was totally exceptional. She dealt with a very difficult and challenging call in the most superb way.

“The kindness and calm professionalism that she showed deserves special praise. I don’t think I could have got through that hour alone without her staying on the line and talking to me.”

Inspector George was later diagnosed with serious heat stroke. He has since made a full recovery.

The following symptoms are associated with heat stroke: not sweating when excessively hot; rapid or shortness of breath; loss of consciousness, unresponsive.

If you suspect someone has heat stroke, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

4-Year-Old Girl Praised for 999 Call

Four-year-old Kaitlyn Wright has been commended for knowing exactly what to do in an emergency.

Her mum, Charlene, was having a fit, and she was the only person at home with her.

So Kaitlyn called 999 and gave the important details to South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) Call Handler Jess Hodkinson.

During the call on 27 October, Kaitlyn was able to tell Jess precisely what was wrong with Charlene. Kaitlyn made sure that her mum was still breathing, and she stayed on the phone to Jess until help arrived.

Kaitlyn, Charlene, and dad Simon made a special visit to the SWASFT Control Centre near Bristol on Friday 30 November
Kaitlyn, Charlene, and dad Simon made a special visit to the SWASFT Control Centre near Bristol on Friday 30 November.

Kaitlyn was presented with a certificate on behalf of SWASFT Chief Executive Ken Wenman to congratulate her for showing extraordinary bravery, presence of mind, and wisdom beyond her years.

Kaitlyn said: “I pressed 999, and said my mummy was having a fit.”

Paramedics went to the family home in Askerswell, Dorset and assessed Charlene.

Thankfully Charlene stopped fitting, and she didn’t need to go to hospital.

Jess, who works in the Control Centre as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher, said the incident highlighted how vital it is for parents to teach their children what to do in an emergency.

That includes showing the children how to call 999, making sure they know their address, and ensuring they are aware of any known health problems in the family.

Jess said: “Every call is different, and we are taught how to deal with child callers as part of our training. But it is unusual to receive a call from someone so young.

“Kaitlyn was very brave and informative. She obviously knew how to call 999; she told me exactly what was happening, and where she lives.

“She knew exactly what to do in an emergency.”

Charlene has fibromyalgia which means she is in constant pain and can have up to 40 seizures a week.

Charlene said: “I’m so proud of Kaitlyn. At the time I wasn’t really aware of what had happened. I woke up with the paramedics standing over me. I was so happy when I found out what she had done.

“We taught all our children how to make a 999 call, and what to say to the call handler. We got Kaitlyn a pretend Disney phone and practised with it.

“It can be scary when you’re not well. But Kaitlyn makes me feel safe. She’s a star.”

Simon added: “Kaitlyn is a grown-up little girl who knows exactly what to do in an emergency. She is brilliant.”

Charlene said the family had been “overwhelmed” by people’s interest in Kaitlyn’s call. She said they had been given cards, gifts, and kind words from many people.

University students find out about SBD’s crime prevention work

Officer Lyn Poole at Canterbury Christ Church University

University students heard about the preventative side of policing today, as Secured by Design Development (SBD) Officer Lyn Poole visited Canterbury Christ Church University and spoke with students undertaking a policing course about the work that SBD undertake on behalf of the Police Service across the UK.

Lyn Poole

The students also heard from Linda Mason, one of Kent Police’s SBD trained Designing Out Crime Officers, who spoke about her front line role working with architects, developers and local authority planners to design out crime long before construction begins.

Linda Mason

You’re all heart: Londoners helping to save lives

Two thirds of people in cardiac arrest in London were given CPR by a passer-by or a relative last year.

An audit by London Ambulance Service has found that members of the public gave life-saving cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to nearly 2,500 people in the capital.

London has one of the best cardiac arrest survival rates in the world.

London Ambulance Service’s Medical Director Dr Fenella Wrigley said: “Londoners are doing a fantastic job providing initial care for cardiac arrest patients When someone’s heart stops, members of the public can really make a difference before an ambulance arrives.

“The chances of survival drop by about 10 per cent with every minute that passes so it is important to start chest compressions straight away and use a defibrillator where one is available.

Cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops pumping blood round the body London Ambulance Service typically reach patients in seven minutes but bystander early intervention will give the person the best chance of life.

Chest compressions will help to keep blood pumping to the brain, while an early shock from a defibrillator will restore normal heart rhythm.

London Ambulance Service has increased the number of public access defibrillators to nearly 5,000 They’re now in train stations, gyms, parks and shops.

However, according to the Service’s Cardiac Arrest Annual Report, there were only 107 cases when a member of public used a defibrillator Shocks were given to 79 patients – and half of those survived – five times more than might have survived otherwise.

Dr Wrigley added: “These defibrillators are designed to be easy to use – you don’t need medical training but learning how to use one in advance will give you more confidence to respond quickly And it could make a difference to so many lives.

“We would urge everyone to learn basic life support which is a life-saving skill and if you see someone who needs you, stop and help Ringing 999 will get early help on the way to the patient and the ambulance service can advise if there is a public access defibrillator nearby.”

The report which looked at the 12 months to March 2018, found that men were more likely to have a cardiac arrest – they made up 64 per cent of our patients with an average age of 62 years Thirty-six per cent of our cardiac patients were women who had an average age of 68 years.

The borough of Redbridge had the highest rate of CPR by a member of the public – at 812 per cent.

Cardiac arrest patients in central London had the best outcome – with 181% surviving The average age of patients was lowest in Tower Hamlets at 58 years and highest in the boroughs of Bexley, Redbridge and Richmond at 71 years.

Ambulance Staff Celebrated at Awards

SWASFT Paramedic Mike Merrett (centre)

The heroic and tireless efforts of staff and volunteers to deliver outstanding patient care have been recognised at a South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s (SWASFT) awards ceremony.

The annual staff awards acknowledge those who have gone above and beyond expectations, and the dedicated service of long-standing members of staff.

Around 200 SWASFT staff and volunteers, and members of the public, who played vital roles in responding to emergency situations, came together for the event near Bristol on Friday 16 November.

SWASFT Chief Executive, Ken Wenman, said: “3,000 times a day, within the largest ambulance service in England, our people are saving lives, reducing peoples’ suffering and pain, and dealing with the social and mental health needs of our communities. I am personally thankful to them all.”

Among those staff who accepted awards were Stroud Paramedic Mike Merrett for 50 years’ dedicated service and Trowbridge Paramedic Steve Arnold for 40 years’ devoted service.

SWASFT Paramedic Mike Merrett (centre)
SWASFT Paramedic Mike Merrett (centre)

SWASFT Chairman, Tony Fox, said: “We are saying a huge and much-deserved thank you to staff and volunteers for their commitment, dedication and professionalism throughout the year.

“I continue to be overwhelmed by the level of care and compassion given to patients and their families often at times of great distress.”

Kevin Steele, 67, from Bournemouth, gave a speech thanking SWASFT staff and members of the public for saving his life when he had a cardiac arrest while driving.

Patient speaker Kevin Steele, who survived a cardiac arrest
Patient speaker Kevin Steele, who survived a cardiac arrest

He said: “I would be dead without the actions of everyone involved. Thank you so much. You’re all superheroes.”

He marked the anniversary of the incident in November 2017 by hosting CPR training at his home.

Best friends Owen Bailey and Owen Paulley, aged 13, were commended for helping a mum when her ten-month-old baby girl was swept into the sea at Weymouth.

Owen Paulley (left) and Owen Bailey with Ken Wenman. The teenagers aided a mum when her baby was swept into water at Weymouth Harbour
Owen Paulley (left) and Owen Bailey (right) with Ken Wenman. The teenagers aided a mum when her baby was swept into water at Weymouth Harbour

The best friends, with the assistance of another passer-by, aided the mum after she dived into the water at the harbour to rescue her infant.

The duo, who had been fishing when the incident happened in August, used their rods to retrieve the mum’s possessions from the sea.

The mum and baby were taken to hospital as a precaution, but the mum only sustained minor injuries and the baby was unharmed.

Owen Paulley said: “I heard a splash and turned round, and the mum was in the water. We ran over to help and stayed with her until the paramedics arrived.”

Owen Bailey’s mum, Katy, said: “They didn’t realise they were doing anything special. They just did it. And they didn’t even mention it when they got home.”

Lee Tapper and off-duty firefighter Simon Green were also recognised for their heroic efforts when they were the first people on the scene of two separate emergencies in Pewsey, Wiltshire.

Getting energy where it’s needed most with the FAST FOLD system

Renovagen Ltd has launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund FAST FOLD portable solar power systems which will be donated or loaned free-of-charge to disaster relief and humanitarian charities and NGO’s. These self-sustaining renewable energy systems, which can be moved by hand and deployed extremely quickly, will reduce their dependency on fuel supplies for provision of essential life-saving power.

The FAST FOLD system consists of an Energy Hub with AC power output and up to 10kWh of energy storage housed in a robust “peli case” for outdoor use, plus flexible folding solar photovoltaic mats of up to 1.6kWp each in capacity which can be deployed in seconds by two people. It is much smaller, lighter and quicker to set up than other multi-kW portable off-grid renewable energy systems – and with single button operation is much easier to use – so it’s ideal for use by workers or volunteers at sites which are remote or have been cut-off from fuel supplies and heavy transport infrastructure. The FAST FOLD provides enough power for communications, medical equipment, lighting, water purification, laptop computers, mobile device charging and other essential equipment which disaster relief personnel rely on to deliver an effective response.

FAST FOLD solar deploys by hand in seconds
FAST FOLD solar deploys by hand in seconds

The system has been developed at Renovagen’s facility in Milton Keynes (United Kingdom), where units are also being assembled for initial orders from non-governmental and governmental organisations, charity and rural electrification projects. Renovagen previously developed the larger RAPID ROLL portable solar power system with a solar field that “unrolls like a carpet” and was successful in equity crowdfunding, raising 262,000 GBP in 2014 and 985,000 GBP in 2016 to support the development of these products.

The Indiegogo campaign, with an initial target of 50,000 USD, aims to galvanise public support for the use of smarter and more effective technology in disaster relief and humanitarian operations, in the context of an increasing number of disasters around the world every year.

John Hingley, Managing Director of Renovagen Ltd said “8.7 million displaced people currently live in temporary camps, and 80% of them don’t have access to electricity. Up to 200 natural disasters affect 160 million people worldwide every year and the majority of these involve power outages of some degree. We want to help address many of the problems encountered in running essential equipment in areas without access to fuel for generators or electricity – which in many cases can be life-saving”.

A number of high-profile NGO and charity organisations, listed on the Indiegogo campaign, have indicated their support and wish to receive FAST FOLD equipment funded in this way. Renovagen hopes to exceed the initial target by many multiples in order to deliver many more FAST FOLD systems to a range of NGO’s and charities.

Safety & security in world’s tallest modular towers.txt

Crime prevention principles developed by Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative, will be incorporated into the world’s tallest modular towers, soon to be built in south London.

Croydon is set to surpass New York as home to the world’s tallest modular towers, as 101 George Street sees the construction of a 38-storey and a 44-storey tower, scaling 135 metres and providing 546 new homes. Modules will start being craned in March 2019, with completion of the development due in May 2020.

Modular Tower

The architecture draws influences from the mid-century context while using the best of modern manufacture to create the world’s tallest modular building. The façades respond to variations in orientation, views and privacy that vary across the building and each tower has its own identity through subtle variations in proportion and material.

The homes in the towers have been designed specifically for rent and will be professionally managed onsite offering residents a 24/7 service. All homes will benefit from access to shared amenities including a podium garden, roof top gardens at the top of each tower, panoramic viewing walkway, gyms, residents lounge and private dining / event rooms.

The development will provide a new civic space for Croydon at ground level- a ‘woodland winter garden’ that will offer a new green space to George Street and create a gateway to the emerging cultural quarter. The ground floor also incorporates a new art gallery space, a café and some flexible spaces which will incorporate a wide range of possible uses including business incubator spaces and artist’s studio spaces.

An SBD trained Designing Out Crime Officer from the Metropolitan Police worked with the architects at HTA Design LLP to develop the SBD principles considered in the planning application and incorporate SBD crime prevention techniques and security into the development in order to minimise the opportunities for crime.

These measures include the built environment, such as creating natural surveillance from the properties, through to the doors, windows and locks which meet Police Preferred Specification Standards. Other measures include:

  • External lighting on all street frontages, pedestrian areas and routes
  • CCTV security surveillance
  • Secure maintenance and bike store access
  • Planting edges kept to low level to avoid blind spots
  • Robust street furniture

    These measures combine to make the properties more robust and less attractive to opportunist criminals.

    The development will be the tallest modular towers in the world surpassing the current tallest prefabricated building in the world, a 32-storey block in New York. Europe’s tallest modular tower currently is a 29 storey building in Wembley.

    The scheme will be delivered in 24 months, from construction starting, to residents moving in to their new homes.

    The scheme will be built using offsite technology, with nearly 1500 modules manufactured and installed by Vision Modular Systems from their purpose-built manufacturing facility in Bedford, where the majority of the fit out is installed including windows, electrics and plumbing before the module is transported to the site in Croydon.

    This approach saves vital time during the construction process and dramatically reduces onsite waste.

Simple new technology saves pets in a recent domestic fire

The recent domestic fire in a Nottingham tower block where Blueproof was fitted, activated successfully and saved the occupier’s pets.

Blueproof is a state of the art fire suppression device that can be fitted in minutes to most domestic central heating systems. The new technology is a co-polymer cone which simply attaches to the bleed valve of a domestic radiator. In the event of a fire, the surface of the hexagonal cone closest to the heat source melts to create a minute nozzle allowing the water from the radiator to spray towards the fire.

Blue proof fitted to a radiator
Blue proof fitted to a radiator

Additionally, consider the radiator to be a kettle and as it heats the water creates steam and this has the effect of reducing the temperature of the room and it scrubs the smoke which in many cases is the cause of fatalities in domestic fires.

In this recent fire, which broke out in the kitchen on the 10th floor, Blueproof had been fitted in 2015, well before the Grenfell Fire Tragedy.

The occupier of the apartment was understandably distressed with the fire; however with no loss of life and his pets being saved, this shows the effectiveness of this simple new technology.

The cost effectiveness of Blueproof is anticipated to be very well received and allow roll out to both private and public housing stock throughout the UK.

Where a home does not have a water-based heating system, Blueproof can be simply attached to domestic appliances or water pipes within the home.

Currently available online from Blueproof for a box of three at £59.99.

blueproof.co.uk

Trust celebrates diversity with largest ever Pride turnout

With a huge turnout from South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) staff, record numbers walked for the Trust in the Brighton and Hove Pride parade, along with volunteers and representatives from other ambulance services nationally.

A total of 187 people walked alongside a specially-decorated ambulance, kindly sponsored by the Trust’s Unison and GMB unions. The Trust also experienced a busy weekend operationally with staff in its Emergency Operations Centres and ambulance crews on the road working hard to respond to patients.

The sustained hot weather saw SECAmb handle some 6,400 calls at the weekend across its region of Kent, Sussex and Surrey.

SECAmb would like to thank everyone who cheered on its representatives in the Pride parade as well as its operational staff and volunteers who worked throughout the busy weekend.

Chair of Pride in SECAmb Will Bellamy said: “We had an amazing turnout for the parade and the support of the community was very touching. It was great to be joined by colleagues from other ambulance services and NHS organisations as the NHS celebrated its 70th year. We’re very proud of the diversity of SECAmb and it is right that we celebrate it.”

Paramedic and Clinical Supervisor Ruth Copeman-Barnes said: “I have never worked for such an inclusive employer, and this is displayed through the diverse workforce and by the wonderful participation in the Brighton Pride parade. Marching as an NHS Paramedic holding my wife’s hand is the proudest feeling ever, and in turn makes me so very proud to work for SECAmb.”

SECAmb Community First Responder Beverly-Jayne Last said: “With 187, we were the biggest entrant in the parade and received the warmest love and support from the crowds. I am honoured and proud to be a volunteer with SECAmb and to walk alongside such dedicated and hardworking colleagues.”

Operating Unit Manager for Brighton, Tim Fellows added: “We know that Pride weekend is always very busy and with the hot weather added in our staff and volunteers worked especially hard. I’d like to thank everyone for their dedication and professionalism.”

Glasgow University Hospital’s helipad has 692 landings in just three years

The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital’s helipad in Glasgow has seen 692 landings over the past three years. That’s an average of 230 landings every year from the Scottish Air Ambulance and Coastguard services. The average number of landings every week has also risen from three to four in comparison to when the helipad was two years old. 

Between April 2017 and April 2018, 265 patients were flown to the hospital, the majority of whom were adults and required resuscitation.  There were also thirty-nine children flown to the hospital for a range of conditions including major trauma which required intensive care treatment.

The rooftop helipad became operational in 2015 and enables patients across Scotland with critical illnesses or injuries to be flown directly to the hospital to receive immediate lifesaving treatment. The HELP Appeal, the only charity in the country dedicated to funding hospital helipads, who rely entirely on public donations,  contributed a total of £700,000 to help fund the helipad.

Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal, said: “Everyone is aware of the vital roles that hospitals and air ambulances play in treating a critically ill patient, but having a helipad beside the emergency department can play a significant part too as it saves time when transporting a patient to the expert care they need to save their lives. This is why we felt compelled to get involved and help the hospital as we knew the difference having it onsite would make. “The support of the air ambulances and the excellent emergency care team at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital – this incredible team of helicopters, helipad and hospital doctors, has made a huge difference to people in Scotland, who may urgently need a blood transfusion, CT scan or any other life-saving treatment after suffering a critical illness or injury.”