Durabook Is Empowering Crews Like You on the Ambulance

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It’s no secret that ambulance crews rely heavily on technology to support their daily work lives. More and more, they are turning towards rugged, stronger devices in order to withstand the often harsh environments which they operate in.

Durabook has been manufacturing mobile rugged devices which deliver the functionality needed to improve patient care for over 30 years. Its military-grade technology has been highly praised by users, as the deep functionality and high performance make operational use effortlessly fluid and simple all at once, a key benefit for ambulance crews.

With that in mind, the company has released the new and exciting U11I tablet, specifically designed for use in the harsh and unforgiving environments which ambulance and other emergency service crews often encounter. 

The U11I helps ambulance crews access electronic patient records, transfer patient-specific information to the hospital before arrival, and make critical decisions, all at lightning speed.

It’s also unique in that it is the only rugged tablet available today which allows you to add a second smart card and RFID reader alongside the one which is already embedded within the device itself, making it incredibly multifunctional.

These unique adaptations allow for secure user authentication and the safe collection and transfer of sensitive data; both absolutely essential features for quickly accessing historical patient information, recording diagnoses, and securely sending data to the hospital or other health organisations before arrival so care and treatment can continue without delay.

The benefits of using rugged devices, as opposed to more old-fashioned methods, cannot be underestimated.

One major bugbear of the past has been as simple a matter as illegible handwriting, which can cause great confusion following handovers—now thankfully a thing of the past, where it belongs.

And that’s also not to mention the seamless transference of records which can now be easily accessed through such technology and then safely secured and protected.

Another simple, yet amazingly useful, pro which the use of rugged tablets had introduced into the field is the ability to take photos of the patient’s injuries and the surrounding scene.

Context is, after all, not to be underestimated and who can deny the benefits of being able to visually picture the extent of the wounds to a trauma victim, for instance, ahead of their arrival? It definitely helps for preparation and handover at the hospital, that’s for sure.

Durabook also provides a cleaning guide with the U11I for simple, fast decontamination of the device following use on a call, saving both time and effort in ensuring that the device is properly cleaned and sanitised.

It will, after all, come into contact with vinyl gloves, blood, mud, and all manner of the harmful bacteria, germs and viruses that you can commonly expect to encounter on a call.

Looking beyond the sleek and professional design and examining the insides of the U11I, you’re left quite impressed with its overall power and capability. For starter’s, it’s the very first rugged tablet on the market to feature Intel’s 10th generation Intel® Core™ processor, improving performance by up to 260% on the previous model.

We all know how furiously frustrating an unresponsive, slow piece of kit can be, especially when you’re in a rush, and the ramped-up processing power means speedier, seamless action during use on those fast-paced, seemingly never-ending shifts. It’s the lifesaver’s lifesaver.

Furthermore, the amazingly lightweight device really proves its rugged nature, withstanding low and high temperatures in either extreme, shocks, vibrations, and surviving what would otherwise be devastating drops of up to six feet completely intact.

That cuts down massively on the usual cost of repair and replacement for things like cracked screens and delicate devices that have broken altogether.

The built-in battery easily lasts an entire shift with a life of up to 13.5 hours, or  up to 24 hours with a hi-cap option; so you can be sure it’s not going to cut out or die on you halfway through a patient report or when sending information.

Meanwhile, a hot-swappable battery allows an uninterrupted five minutes of power between swaps for zero downtime.

The 11.6” Full High Definition display also comes with four touch modes — finger touch, glove, rain/water, and stylus; this allows it to operate perfectly in the rain, remaining completely responsive no matter what the weather or what you’re wearing on your hands.

In the other extreme, Durabook’s DynaVue® sunlight readable technology eliminates reflection and delivers clarity when crews operate in bright outdoor environments, even in direct sunlight. They really have thought of everything here.

CEO of Durabook’s parent company Twinhead, Fred Kao said: “At Durabook, we design devices in line with the demanding and evolving needs of customers who rely on rugged technology to streamline workflows and improve productivity.’

“The new U11I tablet delivers secure and fast data processing, and extensive customisation capabilities that ensure devices can support the every need of ambulance, emergency services and public safety organisations.”

As with all Durabook rugged devices, the U11I can be customised easily to meet different requirements in different work environments, meaning it can fully adapt to your needs as your environments change over time.

Such customisations include integration with pre-existing systems or supporting proprietary software, and the device is also amply future-proofed to support upcoming technologies as they arise.

All-in-all, we’d give this product a 10/10 based on the specs and its overall features, but we’d love to hear what you think too.

Visit www.durabook.com, or contact sales@durabook.com to find out how Durabook can support your ambulance service.

Airbox Systems Launch Free ResilienceDirect Mapping Platform With Cabinet Office

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The Civil Contingencies Secretariat and Airbox Systems Limited have today launched an all-new ResilienceDirect mapping platform.

The tool provides a single codified place for emergency responders to come together to plan for and brief all types of resilience events across the UK.

It allows them to clearly visualise complex situations, giving a focal point and a single source of truth to allow fast, safe, coordinated planning and response.

Free at the point of use, the new service, went live at 7am this morning, replaces the previous mapping tool. It is free at the point of use and available to all UK category 1 and 2 responders.

Nearly two years in the making, the mapping has been reimagined from the ground up; employing current best practice around ease of use, compatibility with modern devices and incorporating many new features requested by the community.

The end solution will provide the emergency services with a tool which better serves their needs today and is scalable and extensible to tackle future scenarios.

Luana Avagliano,
Head of ResilienceDirect

Luana Avagliano, Head of ResilienceDirect, said: “This is an incredibly exciting and monumental day, as ever the needs of the user drive our ResilienceDirect mapping capability.’

“It is imperative that in this ever-challenging and changing world, we stay up to date and embrace emerging technologies.’

“The ambition to continue to provide the best possible tools for our Resilience Community and to support their mission to Save Lives and Keep the UK Safe.”

William Moore, CEO of Airbox Systems, added: “There is no better place to create contingency plans and to brief incidents.’

William Moore, CEO,
Airbox Systems

“The platform allows users to draw from an incredible range of government supplied, authoritative data and mapping.”

The standard functionality includes access to a range of very high quality mapping, overlays and data feeds produced by UK national agencies such as the Met Office, Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency.

It also includes annotation tools to add information to the maps and also tools to interrogate information such as the ability to view and export addresses within given areas.

The overall package provides access to the best planning data available in the UK and combines it with tools to allow specific contingencies to be planned and shared.

Examples of new functionality being released today include:

  • Grids: Grids can be created and added to the map. This is useful for many types of contingency plans, but also means that, in seconds, responders can create and share search grids for finding missing people.
  • What3Words Integration: What3Words has become the location sharing method of choice between the emergency services and the general public and is also widely used for sharing location among responders. The new platform gives instant access to W3W references both from the map and in search.
  • Markers: The new platform expands on the types of markers available to allow richer mapping content. This has been achieved without compromising core Joint Emergency Services Principles (JESIP) and increases the versatility of the types of map which can be created.

In addition, in a world first for an emergency planning system, the platform incorporates surface water flood nowcasting. This capability, introduced in collaboration with Professor Dapeng Yu at Loughborough University, allows responders to understand which access routes may be affected by surface water during high rainfall events.

This will allow the emergency services to gain greater insight into the best routes during flooding, saving vital time in response. The service is currently experimental and covers London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leicester.

Category 1 and 2 responders who wish to apply for a ResilienceDirect account can do so by writing to support@resilience.gov.uk

Further enquiries should be directed to Media@AirboxSystems.com

Coronavirus: Ambulance Staff Report 290 Violence & Aggression Incidents

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Hundreds of South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) staff have experienced violence and aggression while working during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ambulance crews and control room staff reported 290 incidents during the first 10 weeks of lockdown from 23 March to 31 May. This figure compared with 199 during the same time period in 2019.

The majority (84%) of the cases during lockdown were verbal abuse from patients, relatives and members of the public.

There were also 46 physical assaults against SWASFT staff, up from 34 last year.

The areas with the highest number of assaults on staff were: South and West Devon (12); Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (9) and Wiltshire (8).

Emergency services and other partner agencies across the region are working together to highlight the #Unacceptable abuse and assaults faced by key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mark Walker,
Emergency Care Assistant,
SWASFT

They warn that such behaviour will not be tolerated, and action will be taken to prosecute offenders and protect staff.

Jenny Winslade, SWASFT Executive Director of Quality and Clinical Care, said: “Our ambulance crews and control room staff are working tirelessly on the frontline during this global health crisis.

“Sadly they are facing violence and aggression every day while trying to protect and save our patients’ lives, which is completely unacceptable.

“We support whatever action is necessary to protect our staff from harm, and ensure those responsible for any attacks are prosecuted.”

Several SWASFT staff have shared their stories of being assaulted while on duty in a bid to raise awareness of the problem, and to remind people of the consequences.

James Ryan,
Paramedic, SWASFT

Emergency Care Assistant Mark Walker and a police officer were spat at by a patient he was trying to treat in Dawlish, South Devon on Monday 25 May.

The offender was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison for assaulting two emergency workers and being drunk and disorderly in a public place.

Mark said: “The incident was pretty unpleasant. But for the person to be arrested, charged and sent to prison barely within 24 hours was a good outcome.”

Weymouth-based Paramedic James Ryan was attacked by a patient in the back of an ambulance while transporting them to hospital.

James said: “It was a horrible experience. The man knocked my glasses off, pinned me down and punched me. This type of violent behaviour is unacceptable.”

Keziah Pietersen has experienced physical and verbal abuse while working as a paramedic, including being kicked down a flight of stairs.

She said: “I was bruised and shaken. For a long time after whenever I was called out to a similar type of job I was wary.”

SWASFT is encouraging people to support the #Unacceptable campaign by sharing supportive #Unacceptable messages on social media.

Jenny added: “Our staff demonstrate dedication and courage every day, putting their own health at risk for the sake of patients. We are so proud and thankful for them all.

“Any incident of violence and aggression can have serious consequences on them, their families and colleagues. Please respect our people as they continue working during this difficult time.”

SWASFT is also reminding people to follow the national healthcare guidelines to wash their hands regularly, keep two metres apart in public, and get tested if they develop coronavirus symptoms.

Barry’s Half-Century of Saving Lives in North Wales

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An ambulance service stalwart is celebrating a half-century of saving lives in North Wales.

Fifty years ago today, on 08 June 1970, an 18-year-old Barry Davies from Drury, Flintshire, joined the ambulance service inspired by a childhood in the St John Ambulance Cadets.

Barry, now 68, began his career as an Ambulance Technician and has seen the organisation evolve from a small-scale local operation to Wales’ national ambulance service.

Barry accepts an award for 40 years’ service at a staff awards ceremony.

He now works for the Trust’s Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service, based in Wrexham.

Barry said: “I joined the St John Ambulance Cadets when I was 12, so going on to work for the ambulance service was a natural progression.’

“Back then you were an ‘ambulance man’ and you did everything; the emergencies, the non-urgent hospital transfers and everything in between.’

Barry as an Ambulance Technician at Flint Ambulance Station in the 1970s.

“Eventually, I went off to Wrenbury in Cheshire to do my Ambulance Technician training and that’s how I spent my first 30 years in the service, based out of Flint Ambulance Station.’

“The call that stands out in my mind is the time we delivered a baby in a card shop in Flint.’

“You see everything in this job – nothing surprises me anymore!”

In 2007, Barry transferred to Mold Ambulance Station and was one of the first to join the Trust’s new High Dependency Service, now known as the Urgent Care Service.

He later joined the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service as an Ambulance Care Assistant having retired briefly and returned to the organisation.

Barry said: “I’ve watched our ambulance service evolve from Clwyd Ambulance Service to the North Wales Ambulance Service to the Welsh Ambulance Service it is today.’

“When I look back, I feel immensely proud. It’s absolutely flown by but I have such fond memories.”

Barry’s wife Lindsey is an Emergency Medical Technician based at Dobshill, Flintshire.

Barry and his Emergency Medical Technician wife, Lindsey Davies.

Lindsey, originally of Afonwen, also has 35 years’ service under her belt –— together the couple have served the people of North Wales for 85 years combined.

The pair enjoy gardening and travelling, and celebrated the New Year in South Africa.

Jason Killens, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “Fifty years is an incredible length of service and we’re so grateful and fortunate to have a colleague of long-standing like Barry.’

Jason Killens,
Chief Executive,
Welsh Ambulance Service

“Barry has helped hundreds, if not thousands, of people over the years, many of whom would not be walking around Wales today if it were not for his skill and dedication.

“He’s an extraordinary man who has committed his life to making sure people are taken care of.”

Wayne Davies, the Trust’s Locality Manager for Wrexham in Flintshire, said: “Barry is a well-liked and well-respected colleague, having served communities across North Wales for 50 years.

“Together with Lindsey, they are an incredible duo, and we thank them both for their service.”

Joe Lewis, General Manager for the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service in North Wales, added: “CongratulationsBarry on a half-century of service.

“The people in North Wales are lucky to have you and long may you continue to serve them.”

Barry will celebrate 50 years’ service today with socially-distanced tea and cake with his colleagues on station.

“They’re still making me bring the cakes though,” he added.

Ambulance Volunteer Mike Retires After 66 Years

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An award-winning South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) volunteer community responder is taking a well-earned retirement after helping people in need for almost seven decades. 

Mike Kemp, from Liskeard in Cornwall, began his volunteering as a cadet with St John Ambulance in 1954. He was a long-serving officer with the organisation before finishing in 2006. 

Mike Kemp (right) with his son, Richard (left)

Mike has been a SWASFT Community First Responder (CFR) since 2002, treating thousands of patients in and around Liskeard, Looe and Par — and saving many lives. 

His legacy will continue through his son Richard who is a SWASFT Paramedic, and the new volunteers Mike has trained. 

CFR Mike Kemp with an AED

Mike said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed being a volunteer responder. No two days of responding are the same.’

“But it’s a privilege to be part of such a wonderful team, and know you are making a difference to people. 

“Once I was called onto a train to treat an unconscious diabetic patient who attacked the guard when he regained consciousness.’

Another time, when I was called to a care home, I was told that the elderly resident I was treating was just asleep and the real patient was on the other side of the room!”

One of Mike’s proudest achievements was becoming the first person to defibrillate a patient in 1988. 

Julia Cleeland-Smith, SWASFT Community Responder Officer for Cornwall, said: “I have been amazed at the dedication and commitment that Mike has given to support patients, community responders and enhanced first aid to the public.” 

Mike Kemp with Volunteer of the Year award at the Unsung Hero Awards (2018)

His volunteering with SWASFT was recognised in 2018 when he was given the Volunteer of the Year accolade at the Unsung Hero Awards. 

CFRs are trained volunteers who provide crucial treatment in the vital first few minutes of life-threatening emergencies while an ambulance is on the way. 

During Volunteers’ Week, SWAST has been celebrating the invaluable work of its 800 volunteers who respond to around 40,000 patients a year across the South West. 

Welsh Ambulance Service Celebrates Volunteers’ Week 2020

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The Welsh Ambulance Service has been celebrating the work of its volunteers as part of national Volunteers’ Week.

Volunteers’ Week (01-07 June) is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

More than 1,400 volunteers give up their time to support the ambulance service in Wales, including 1,200 Community First Responders and 170 Volunteer Car Drivers.

Community First Responders are trained to deliver life-saving first aid prior to the ambulance service’s arrival.

Volunteer Car Drivers use their own vehicles to transport people to routine hospital appointments, including renal dialysis, oncology and outpatients appointments.

In 2019/20, they made 134,354 journeys across Wales and covered more than four million miles – the equivalent of driving to the moon and back eight times.

Elsewhere, Community First Responders are members of the public who are trained to deliver life-saving first aid to people in their own community prior to the ambulance service’s arrival. 

As a critical part of the chain of survival, Community First Responders play an active part is saving many lives across Wales every year.  

They have the equipment and know-how to administer treatment in those precious first minutes of an emergency, including CPR and defibrillation in the event of a cardiac arrest.

Last year, Community First Responders attended 29,000 emergencies, arriving at the scene of the most serious ‘Red’ calls in an average of six minutes and 49 seconds.

Jason Killens,
Chief Executive,
Welsh Ambulance Service

Jason Killens, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “Our volunteers – be they in our car service or our Community First Responder group – give up their time to help us help our communities. 

“The time they give is substantial and makes a real difference to our patients across Wales 

“Without the support of our volunteers and their families and friends who support them to volunteer with us, we simply couldn’t operate the service that we do.

“The commitment from our volunteers through the Covid-19 pandemic has been incredible, and we would like to extend a huge thank you for their time and commitment, not just this Volunteers’ Week but year-round.”

Volunteer Car Drivers transport patients to and from routine hospital appointments using their own vehicle.

Martin Woodford, the Trust’s Chair, added: “As an ambulance service, we depend hugely on the contribution of our volunteers, come rain or shine, and never more so than during this frightening pandemic.’

“On behalf of our Board, I would like to express my enormous gratitude to all of our selfless volunteers, whether Community First Responders, Volunteer Car Drivers, or people who have simply stepped forward to help us in any way they can during these difficult times.”

“We are forever in your debt,” Martin added.

As well as Community First Responders and Volunteer Car Drivers, the Trust also relies on the support of St John Cymru Wales and uniformed first responders from the three Welsh fire and rescue services.

It is also supported by ‘BASICS’ doctors from the British Association of Immediate Care, who provide pre-hospital care at the scene of more complex emergencies.

To volunteer for the Welsh Ambulance Service, visit www.ambulance.wales.nhs.uk 
and head to the ‘Get Involved’ page. 

Visit http://volunteersweek.org for more information.

Covid-19: Have Your Say on Welsh Ambulance Service’s Response

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The Welsh Ambulance Service is asking the public to have a say on its response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Trust is inviting people to share their experience of accessing the service, whether through 999, 111 or its Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service.

It is also keen to gather the public’s views on ease of access to information, as well as how they found the process of offering to help with equipment and volunteering.

Rachel Marsh, the Trust’s Director of Strategy, Performance and Planning, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been the greatest challenge in health and social care for a generation.

“We’ve made every effort to provide the best possible service while in the throes of this global health emergency, which has included enlisting the support of the military and the redeployment of more than 200 colleagues into key areas of the service, like 111.

“Patients are at the heart of our service, so we’re keen to hear about how this has felt on the ground by the people we serve, people in Wales.

“We’re not out of the woods yet but as a forward-thinking ambulance service, we’re starting to turn our attention to lessons learned and what more we could have done and can still do.

“You don’t have to have accessed our service to take the survey, and any and all feedback is welcome.”

Click here to take the survey, the closing date for which is Friday 12 June 2020.

Magen David Adom Helps Medical Agencies in Congo Set up A “Drive Thru” Sampling Facility

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Congo in Central Africa has been impressed by Magen David Adom’s “Drive Thru” sampling facilities, which have been operating since the Corona crisis began throughout Israel.

Dan Gertler, Congo’s Honorary Consul in Israel, contacted Magen David Adom, seeking advice and assistance in establishing similar facilities in Congo, as part of the country’s fight against the Corona virus.

Magen David Adom accepted the request, assisted, and built a dedicated software for managing the “Drive Thru” facility in the Congo.

Drive-Through Facility in the DRC

In addition, MDA members have prepared a training program incorporating videos and written procedures, which has been passed on to medical professionals who operate the facility in the state.

“During the long period in which we operated the many ‘Drive Thru’ sampling facilities, the technology we used proved itself, along with the effective and safe practices that enabled the safety of the suspected infected and the teams,” said MDA Chief of Information Officer Ido Rosenblat, “from the moment they contacted us , we were ready to help at during difficult time to set up the ‘Drive Thru’ sampling facilities in Congo, and to share our knowledge. “

Visitors to the Congolese Drive-Through

Congo Minister of Health Dr. Eteni Longondo and Director General Mr. Sylvain Yuma Ramazani visited the “Drive and Test” facilities which opened at the end of May and expressed their gratitude to MDA for the cooperation on the project.

MDA Director General Eli Bin stated: “The medical capabilities and technologies of Magen David Adom, along the methods we are developing, are among the most advanced in the world.’

“In the light of the fight against Corona virus, we have gained extensive experience in obtaining thousands of samples a day, most efficiently and safely, and now we are happy to share knowledge with other medical entities around the world, for the sake of saving human lives.”