Paramedics from across the North West are being happily reunited with the people whose lives they have saved.
As part of our wider campaign to educate the public on 999 use, and to highlight the prime examples of when and why people should be dialling it, we’ve launched a heart-warming new scheme to reunite emergency callers with the ambulance crews and emergency call handlers who helped save their lives.
In the past year, we received a total of 1,337,175 calls – and one in ten of these were classed as ‘immediately life-threatening’ scenarios.
More than half were for people whose injuries and illnesses may not be considered life-threatening, but they still required emergency care. The remainder of the calls were for incidents which were urgent but not classed as an emergency and for people with less urgent conditions who could have been treated by their GP or pharmacist.
Now, we’ve released a video showcasing some of the most poignant stories from across the region, highlighting the moving reunions between emergency survivors and their saviour paramedics.
Of the stories told in the video, one is that of 26-year-old Joe Holding, who was left fighting for his life after a vicious attack at his home in Liverpool.
A gang of men broke into Joe’s home before beating him up, slashing him with a machete, throwing petrol on him and setting him on fire.
Crew mates David and Daryl were sent to Joe within minutes of receiving the emergency call.
Speaking about his reunion with David and Daryl, Joe said: “It was so important for me to meet with them as they, along with the other ambulance crew who treated me, really did save my life.
“It really has been the pinnacle of my recovery, as whilst I have healed physically, mentally it has been very tough. I can’t thank North West Ambulance Service enough for what they did for me.”
In the past year alone, we’ve treated patients in a number of emergency situations, including breathing problems (82,798 patients), chest pains (66,585 patients), unconsciousness (51,246 patients), serious bleeding (29,361 patients) and cardiac arrest (13,921 patients).
Talking about the video and wider campaign, Ged Blezard, Director of Operations, said: “Our emergency call handlers and responders are the heart of the ambulance service, and their fast thinking can often be the difference between life and death.
“We have created these videos as a way of not only showcasing how thankful we are to our paramedics, and allowing those individuals they have helped specifically to make their gratitude known, but to also highlight examples of the valid circumstances during which a 999 call is necessary.
“We hope that by sharing these real life stories, we can educate the public on what our priorities must be as an ambulance service.
“Winter is always the busiest time of year for us in terms of the 999 calls we receive, and now more than ever, we encourage people to use their common sense so that we can help the people who need us most.
“We’d love to hear from people who have received help from our service in an emergency. Our frontline staff rarely get to find out what’s happened to the patients they have treated. A ‘thank you’ goes a long way in showing just how much they mean to grateful members of the public, so we’re encouraging people to say ‘thank you NWAS’ by sharing their stories with us on social media.”
Examples of genuine emergencies include cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness, confused state, fits that aren’t stopping, chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding, severe allergic reactions, burns and scalds, suspected stroke, suspected heart attack, fall from height, serious head injury, stabbing, shooting and serious road traffic incidents.
For medical help when it is not an emergency, go to 111.nhs.uk or call NHS 111.