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Crews launch tool for witnesses

Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) and Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) are launching a new tool to help often-overlooked victims of trauma – bystanders and witnesses.

Critical care paramedics and doctors will now carry a business-card sized leaflet outlining emotional or mental health symptoms a bystander might experience following an accident or emergency.

These can include mood swings, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, feeling anxious, or tiredness.

The card also carries a list of organisations and phone numbers that can provide support to someone who might be struggling, including MIND, the Samaritans, and NHS 111.

Jamie Burnett, who is the face of DLRAA and WNAA’s summer campaign to fund lifesaving materials, knows how important it can be to provide support for bystanders.

After the lower half of his body was crushed by a dumper truck in an accident last year, Jamie’s friends, Adam Davies and Jim Murphy, leapt into action to help save his life.

Despite Jamie’s horrific injuries, which included a fractured pelvis, massive skin and blood loss and multiple broken bones, his friends didn’t hesitate to reverse the truck off him, tourniquet his wounds, and call 999.

But while Jamie was airlifted to hospital, Adam and Jim needed to process the traumatic event they had been through. Unlike the doctors and paramedics who deal with this situation every day, they had no experience of coping with the traumatic scenes, and had trouble getting over the sight of their friend.

Adam said: “Seeing and helping at an accident like Jamie’s can really stick with you. Witnessing anyone go through an emergency is hard, and sometimes it can be hard to know what to expect or who you can talk to.”

The services hope these cards will provide valuable support to witnesses of trauma, and help people know what to expect and how to get help if they need it. They were inspired by South Central Ambulance Service, which gives out a similar card, as well as a number of other ambulance services around the country, who provide similar kinds of support to bystanders.

Philip Bridle, base manager and critical care paramedic for DLRAA, said: “As pre-hospital care is urgent and fast-paced, it can be hard to reassure witnesses or provide them with details of support at a scene. This new tool in our arsenal means we can make sure witnesses have some support without a pause in tending to emergency patients.”

Each of the services’ missions costs an average of £1,700, and as the charity receives no government funding, it is run entirely on the generous donations of supporters. To donate to Jamie’s Lifesaving Materials Appeal, click here or call 08454 130999* for more information.

*Calls will cost 3ppm plus your access charge.

The Air Ambulance Service does not receive any government funding. Our lifesaving missions are fuelled by your donations.

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