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As heavy snow continues to fall, British Red Cross emergency teams have mounted a huge response across the country, supporting ambulance services in Greater Manchester, Scotland, Worcester, Shropshire and Staffordshire.
A team of 30 British Red Cross staff and volunteers have been using specially equipped 4x4 vehicles to reach patients in Northern Scotland, where conditions have been particularly difficult in rural areas.
Ian Rideout, Red Cross Operations Director for the North of Scotland, said: “The conditions are unprecedented, there’s been no let up in the weather and some back roads are all but impassable.
On one occasion we had to drive across a field to reach a patient whose home was so cut off, we’d considered sledging him out. We’ve also had to dig through four feet of snow to release one of our carers and their client after they were trapped by an avalanche that fell from the roof.”
In Glasgow, the Red Cross medical loan service was inundated with requests for wheelchairs for people who had fallen and broken hips, legs and ankles on the snow and ice. More than four times as many wheelchairs as normal were given out.
Elsewhere in the UK, volunteers are on standby as the bad weather sweeps through the Midlands and into the South East.
Notes to editors
For interviews, pictures or more information, please call Penny Sims on 020 7877 7044 or 07659 145 095
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives.