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British Red Cross volunteers provide first aid for revellers during Birmingham's party season

19 December 2012

For immediate release Wednesday, December 19, 2012
For further information Rebecca McIlhone
Contact number  0117 3012624 07525 128297

First aid volunteers from the British Red Cross are working in partnership with West Midlands Ambulance Service and other voluntary organisations to keep party-goers safe this festive period and reduce A&E admissions.

Red Cross ambulance crews will be stationed around Birmingham city centre on Friday and Saturday nights between 7pm and 4am. Trained volunteers will treat patients in the ambulance or, depending on the seriousness of their injuries, carry out blue light duties to transport them to a temporary minor injury unit (TMIU) in Broad Street, or to hospital.

The TMIU is staffed by WMAS paramedics, technicians, Central Accident Resuscitation Emergency (CARE) team nurses and doctors, St John Ambulance volunteers and Fastaid Community First Responders while the Red Cross volunteers are ambulance based.

The Red Cross also supports a smaller scale treatment unit on Broad Street, which operates on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the year.

Nathan Hudson, Birmingham General Manager for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “Weekend visitors to Birmingham may have already noticed ours and the British Red Cross’ presence on Broad Street. Given the success of the larger TMIU, we’ve been operating a smaller scale treatment unit on Broad Street for over a year. This has been running on Friday and Saturday nights and has been a resounding success by treating on average 70 patients each weekend.

“This weekend and the run up to New Year’s Eve we’ll be setting up our larger scale TMIU, which has become a regular visitor to Broad Street during December, to deal with the increase in 999 calls the Trust historically deals with during the festive party season.”

“The types of patients we see at the TMIU are, more often than not, those who have had too much alcohol, suffered cuts, bruises, sprained ankles and a range of medical conditions.  These patients don’t need a trip to A&E but do require some form of treatment and the TMIU is the perfect place for these patients to be seen.

“Thank you to the British Red Cross volunteers for their support in making the TMIU such a success and for giving up their spare time to provide care to patients over the festive season.”

Amy Holtom, 20, from Sheldon, in Birmingham, volunteers for the Red Cross providing ambulance support in Birmingham every weekend during the year as well as over the festive period. Amy, who works for a vehicle hire company, is applying to university to study paramedic science with the aim of fulfilling a lifelong ambition to become a paramedic.

She says: “I enjoy having contact with people when they need our help the most. They may have just gone out and had a good time and ended up having one too many but they’re not in a safe situation so they should be treated with respect and not judged. We also provide support to a lot of homeless people and it’s nice to be able to help them too, especially in this weather.”

Glen Curry, Regional Events Manager for St John Ambulance, said: “St John Ambulance is always pleased to work in partnership with the ambulance service and other agencies to ensure the public can have fun safely. Having this centre available means people can get treatment quickly, which could be the difference between a life lost and a life saved in an emergency.”
The TMIU will be located at the House of Sport on Broad Street on Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd, Saturday 29th and Monday 31st December and is operational between 8.00pm and 4.00am.

Notes to Editors: 
For media enquiries relating to the Red Cross please contact Rebecca McIlhone on 0117 3012624 or 07525 128297 or email For urgent out of hours media enquiries pleas call the duty press officer on 07710391703.

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