We want to thank our unsung heroes for everything that they do
Our frontline colleagues in our 999 call centres and on our ambulances wanted to say thank you to all our volunteers who have been ‘a bedrock‘ to the service, by reciting the poem Unsung Heroes, written by paramedic and Clinical Operations Manager Mark Dawn.
All our volunteers play a crucial role in supporting EMAS to deliver outstanding patient care. They are operational throughout the year and support our frontline colleagues by responding to emergency calls from across the region.
While we might have not been able to celebrate Volunteers Week in the traditional sense due to social distancing, the sense of community amongst volunteers feels stronger than ever. If you haven’t had the chance yet, we recommend that you have a look at our previous social media posts and articles from throughout the week to gain more of an understanding of why volunteering is so important.
Due to the current pandemic we have seen a reduction in the opportunities in patient facing roles, but that doesn’t mean that volunteers who have joined us recently have not been making a big difference.
Director of Operations at EMAS, Ben Holdaway said: “Our volunteers in fleet and logistics and other non-patient facing roles help EMAS to remain operational in its function as an emergency service.
“They have been working around the clock to ensure that adequate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been maintained on our vehicles during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This means our frontline clinicians can continue to focus on responding to patients who need us in a medical emergency and not worry about whether they have enough safety items in order to perform their job.”
We also have 1,335 community first responders across the entire region to thank for supporting us in responding to life critical patients throughout the year.
EMAS Medical Director, Dr Leon Roberts said: “Our community first responders provide a vital lifeline to the communities that they serve.
“They volunteer their free time to log-on and are ready to respond to patients who are experiencing stroke, heart attacks and cardiac arrest in a matter of minutes.
“Performing CPR and delivering defibrillation shocks when needed on a patient who has gone into cardiac arrest within the first three to four minutes is vital.
"EMAS have also supported Restart a Heart Day and our CFR teams have trained thousands of people in schools and out in the community on how to do CPR effectively.
“They have also taught the public on how to use public access defibrillators and long may that continue."
We also currently have 11 volunteer car service drivers who are in active service ensuring that patients with serious medical conditions still get to the hospital for their vital appointments.
Debra Dudley, Patient Transport Services Improvement Lead at EMAS
Debra Dudley, Patient Transport Services Improvement Lead at EMAS said: “We work with patients who have specialist medial needs and our volunteers play a crucial role in ensuring that their care is of the highest standards.
“We’ve found through our experience that patients who are transported to their hospital appointments by our dedicated volunteers have a much better experience and our volunteers get a lot out of it too.
“The volunteers go through a training process to ensure that their driving matches the standards set by EMAS and that they are able to deliver outstanding customer service and patient care.”
Thank you to all our volunteers who have helped us in so many different ways.