issue 16 - Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust | Murray said: “During the past ... although he was breathing he needed ... Dr Anne Watson with Welsh Ambulance Service paramedic Jon Cole, left, and
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alan murray steps down page 2 doctors tribute page 5 our heroes page 7insight page 9
sirenissue 16n e w s l e t t e r f o r t h e W e l s h A m b u l a n c e S e r v i c e s N H S Tr u s t
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If you have any comments or ideas about the magazine or suggestions about how it can improve than please contact a member of the editorial team.This is your magazine and if you are reading it and thinking that it doesnt address issues that you feel are important, then it is down to you to contact your regional representative and tell them about it. Any stories or ideas are also welcomed so please contribute and make this your magazine.
contentsPages 2 and 3: Levi in no mood to wait | Alan Murray steps downPage 4:Doctors tribute Page 5:Volunteers thanks Pages 6 and 7:Our heroesPages 8:Help for Les | Pad at pit | Disaster simulationPages 9 and 10:Insight
siren Alan Murray steps down
the comms team
Acting Communications Manager Richard Timothy.
01495 76540407515 191347
Communications Officer Adam Johnson
01745 53299607824 499379
Alan Murray, the Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, stepped down at the end of March.
Mr Murray said: During the past three and a half years, we have been able to implement wide-ranging changes, leading to significant progress in improving our performance.
Nurses are triaging less serious 999 calls and resolving almost three quarters of them on the phone.
The first-ever university educated paramedics will graduate in August. Our first specialist practitioners are now operational, seeing and treating many more people in their own homes, keeping them out of hospital.
While strong foundations have been laid for the future, a lot of hard work remains to be done.
I am proud of what our staff have achieved, but I believe that I have taken the Trust as far as I can.
It is a high profile, high pressure job and I believe the time has now come to pass the baton to someone new.
I want to thank everybody who works for the Welsh Ambulance Service, staff and volunteers for their hard work and dedication. They fully deserve the confidence and admiration of the people of Wales.
Stuart Fletcher, the Chairman of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, said: I would like to thank Alan for his important contribution during a crucial period in the history of the Welsh Ambulance Service.
Our performance has improved considerably since he took the reins in 2006.
He is the main architect of our comprehensive modernisation programme, Time to Make a Difference, which has provided us with an excellent strategy to improve the service.
There is still some way to go but we are now in a stronger position as we enter the next stages of the modernisation programme. I would like to wish Alan all the best in the future.
We will conduct a careful search to find a successor who can take the Welsh Ambulance Service forward to the next level in terms of our progress and create an organisation of which Wales can be proud.
In the meantime, Elwyn Price-Morris, the Director of the North Wales regional office of the Assembly Governments Health Department is acting as Interim Chief Executive while the Board conducts a search for a permanent Chief Executive.
A young mum has visited the North Wales Air Ambulance base to say a personal thank you after a dramatic mercy mission by helicopter paramedics helped save the life of her premature baby.
When Cloe Green, 21, went into labour at home it was still a month early but little Levi wasnt in the mood to wait.
Cloes sister Amy leapt into action to deliver the baby at the house in Dyffryn Ardudwy, Harlech, even before the 999 call went through but the air ambulance helicopter was there within minutes as tiny Levi fought for life.
Welsh Ambulance Service paramedics Ian Binnington, from Wrexham, and Martin Lisin, from Holywell, took over and gave the 5lb 8oz baby oxygen and helped get him breathing properly.
Ian, paramedic team leader for the Air Ambulance, said: He was blue and although he was breathing he needed attention urgently so we oxygenated him and once he had pinked up we got him on board and flew him to Ysbyty Gwynedd.
We had had a cardiac call to Harlech so we were in the area and able to get there quickly.
We dont usually do maternity cases because it would be very tricky delivering a baby in a helicopter - it
air ambulance to the rescue of baby levi
would look a bit odd on the birth certificate too but here the baby was already out.
This was on the old helicopter which didnt have as much space as the new one weve now got but this was an emergency so we got the OK.
The midwife had also arrived so we managed to get her, Cloe and the little boy on board but we had to leave Martin behind.
We were so pleased that it was a good outcome and its great to see Cloe and Levi looking so well.
Cloe and Amy, along with their children, including little Levi, visited the North Wales Air Ambulance base at Dinas Dinlle, near Caernarfon, to thank the crew for their swift actions.
Cloe said: Everyone did a fantastic job, especially Amy, and Im just so grateful to the air ambulance for getting us to hospital so quickly and helping Levi come through.
Cloe Green with son Leo and Air Ambulance paramedic Ian Binnington with baby Levi.
A grateful couple from Barry have paid tribute to the Welsh Ambulance Service call-taker who talked them through a home birth in the early hours of the morning.
On-line delivery number four for Rachel
It was a stressful event for Amanda Kingsley and Alan Carter as baby Tia put in an early appearance but all in a nights work for call-taker Rachel Spracklen.
Rachel, 26, from Abertillery, who only joined the staff of the Ambulance Services South East Region control room in January 2009, has now helped four babies all girls into the world.
The most recent came in Barry and Rachel said: It was Amandas third child but it was his first so I just talked him through the procedure and it went well.
I think he had thought he was going to be sitting on the sofa waiting for the ambulance to arrive, not getting hands on.
He made me laugh because he asked me if I delivered a baby every night but some people who trained at the same time havent done any its just how it goes.
Amanda said: Rachel call-taker was brilliant and the ambulance crew were great, so helpful and nice.
The crew of paramedic Paul Crowley, from Cardiff, and technician Ed OBrien, from Porthcawl, let the new dad cut the cord and Paul said: Its always good to have a good outcome like this and its great to have someone appreciate what you do as well.
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A retired doctor has paid tribute to the Welsh Ambulance Service crew she says saved her life after she suffered a horrific injury on a remote hillside in appalling winter weather.
Dr Anne Watson was walking on a rough track when she slipped and fell in torrential rain, breaking her thigh and badly damaging her knee.
Twelve months later, after recovering not just from her injuries but also from cancer, she returned to Wales to meet her saviours, paramedic Jon Coile and technician Gareth Morris.
Anne and her husband, Christopher, from Oxford, had been staying at the 300-year-old cottage near Llangenny in the Brecon Beacons, where they have been holidaying for 40 years.
doctors tribute to her ambulance heroesThe 70-year-old former GP realised
instantly the seriousness of her injuries and used her mobile to dial 999: It was in November and we had just locked up the cottage and I slipped on wet grass and it was as if my knee and femur just crumbled it was agony.
I couldnt move and I could see that my femur was in the wrong place and my leg was skewed round.
The ambulance car had trouble getting to me because of the roads but when they did they were marvellous. I think without them I would have died because my husband would have tried to get me into our car.
The ambulance crew were wonderful. It was so cold I could hear
their teeth chattering and their hands were shaking as they treated me.
I got hypothermia but they did the best they could to keep me warm, trying to cover me in that silver paper even though I was lying on this track in the pouring rain with water gushing past me.
They had to pull my leg straight and that did hurt but they were tremendous and did a great job in very difficult circumstances.
Theyre a wonderful gang and they really did save my life.
Anne was taken by ambulance to Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny before being transferred to Oxfords John Radcliffe Hospital where she underwent a nine-hour operation to
reset her thigh.Since then she has also fought
cancer but she returned to Crickhowell to meet up again with the ambulance crew and Jon, 32, from Nant y Glo, said: It was wonderful to see her again. It was a rotten day when she got hurt but she was quite feisty and her spirits were good and she was an excellent patient, very brave.
Its a tribute to her that shes making such a good recovery and although it was difficult for us it was much worse for her.
His colleague, Gareth, 35, from Brynmawr, added: Shes a marvellous lady and it was good to see her in such good form and back in Wales.
My saviours: Dr Anne Watson with Welsh Ambulance Service paramedic Jon Cole, left, and technician Gareth Morris.
A volunteer ambulance car driver has paid an emotional tribute to four Patient Care Service staff who pulled him back from the brink after he suffered a heart attack outside Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
Gareth Jones paid a visit to the Ambulance Liaison Office at the hospital to be reunited with Wrexham PCS colleagues Dave Hanson, David Beard, Ken Vickers and Brian Wright.
The four received an ambulance service regional team award for their part in saving Gareths life when he collapsed in the hospital grounds.
David Beard explained: I saw Gareth walking towards us and the next minute he was on the floor, I got to him
When Wendy Rowe helped save the life of a man who had collapsed in church she didnt realise he would turn out to be a long-lost cousin.
The 46-year-old mum only found out later that heart attack victim Mark Davies was related to her.
She and fellow church member Marian Roberts were with Mark at a meeting at the Spiritualist Church in Swanseas Oxford Road when he slumped into his chair.
Wendy, helped by Marian, gave Mark CPR cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and then assisted Welsh Ambulance Service paramedic Alan Richards as he shocked him back to life four times.
Alan nominated the two women for a Welsh Ambulance Service award presented to them by Central and West Regional Director Richard Lee and he said: If it hadnt been for them I dont think we would have had a success.
Alan, 52, arrived at Swansea Spiritualist Church in a Rapid Response Vehicle and found Wendy and Marian treating Mr Davies: They were giving him very good CPR, he said: He didnt have a pulse but they carried on with chest compressions and between the three of us we managed to defib him
and put him in the recovery position.David went to raise the alarm with
the nearest ambulance crew while Dave, Ken and Brian carried out CPR on Gareth. They administered oxygen until EMS arrived to take him to A&E.
Dave Hanson added: Gareth came round after the first set of compressions we did and then we got him in the ambulance. It just shows the value of having basic life saving skills.
Gareth, who underwent a heart bypass and hopes to return to volunteer driving, said: I really want to thank them all... theyve given me my life back. I will never forget their kindness and the day they saved my life.
four times.We eventually got a very strong
heartbeat and excellent respiratory effort and an ambulance crew were soon there to take him to hospital.
Alan, from Llangennech, near Llanelli, who has been in the ambulance service in Swansea for 27 years, added: What made the difference was that these ladies were able to provide good CPR almost immediately for the patient and I told them, I dont know if you realise exactly what youve done but this man would never have had a chance but for you.
Wendy, of Mayhill, Swansea, a mum of three who works as a one-on-one special needs assistant, said: I went on a first aid course with school last year but I didnt expect that I would have to use it in this sort of situation.
Ive since found out that Mark and I are cousins and after he had been in hospital he came and stayed with us for a week to recuperate and now hes looking really well.
Mark, 42, said: I am sure that without Wendy and Marian and Alan I wouldnt be here today. Im very grateful and Ive even found a relative I never knew I had.
volunteers thanks to lifesaving quartet
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our heroes : f rom the f ront l ine to the back room
A journalist with one of Waless top newspapers has paid tribute to the Welsh Ambulance Service crew who attended him after he was the victim of a vicious street attack.
As Health Correspondent of the South Wales Echo, Greg Tindle has often written about the Welsh Ambulance Service, but the respected reporter had first hand experience of the service when he walking to work one morning in the city centre.
Greg was punched in the face in a totally unprovoked attack and staggered to the newspaper office nearby where an ambulance was called with the crew of paramedic Christine Bigmore and technician Rob Tyler arriving within minutes.
He said: I would just like to offer my heartfelt thanks to the two ambulance staff who attended. Both offered the most fantastic comfort and kindness.
Ive always had the greatest admiration for the work of the ambulance service and these two confirmed my belief - I will never forget them.
Greg, 59, was reunited with the crew at Blackweir Ambulance Station and Christine said: Its not a time of day when you would expect to get belted but it does happen.
He had some bruising and swelling round his eye and, as youd expect, he was suffering from shock.
Greg added: They were really wonderful. They checked me over and treated me and they even took me home because I didnt need to go to hospital.
Its been brilliant being able to meet up with them again and thank them properly.
Welsh Ambulance Service data analyst Kayleigh Malson knows laughter really is the best medicine and she can prove it.
Kayleigh returned from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after a rib-tickling 80-minute sketch show that kept her audience in stitches.
As part of the Abergavenny Spotlight Society (ASS), the 23-year old played to near full houses for three nights.
We did a sketch show that was 80 minutes long. It was a bit like the Fast Show, said Kayleigh, from Abersychan near Torfaen: One minute its a doctors surgery, the next a game show. I played everything from a doctor to a bar tender.
Kayleigh, who works at Vantage Point House, the control room for the South East Region, admitted comedy acting can be nerve-wracking.
If you dont make them laugh it can be terrible but we had a really good reception when we were...