Dräger Oxylog® VE300: An Evaluation in Use by Critical Care Paramedics

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) critical care paramedics have given feedback on the
Dräger Oxylog
® VE300 ventilator, following its use during a product evaluation which was undertaken by Kingston University and St George’s University of London. Interestingly, a special focus of the evaluation was the included CPR mode built into the ventilator in order to test its overall usability in daily practice.


The aim of the evaluation was to assess, audit, and evaluate the use of the Dräger Oxylog® VE300 ventilator and the attitudes of its users towards the device during the period when it was being trialed by SECAMb’s critical care paramedics.

Five Oxylog VE300 ventilators were provided by Dräger for the project. As there are ten critical care paramedic (CCP) bases across SECAmb, each ventilator was allocated to two separate bases; operating from the first base for six weeks, and then from the second base for another six weeks in 2019.

The extended scope of skills and experience which CCPs possess when it comes to treating treating the most vulnerable and high-risk patients using advanced clinical procedures and equipment made them perfect candidates to offer reliable feedback about the overall functionality and usefulness of the Oxylog VE300 ventilator.

In total, they used the Oxylog VE300 in 55 different ventilation cases with all available ventilation modes: intra-arrest/ CPR mode, post ROSC/apnoeic patients, transport, handover, and NIV/CPAP. The CPR mode was used in more than every second ventilation case.

CPR in Advanced Life Support

During CPR, ILCOR guidelines on ventilation are rarely achieved due to a tendency to either over or under ventilate patients, both in terms of frequency and tidal volume. Most mechanical ventilators have difficulties with this as they struggle to cope with high airway pressures generated during CPR.

The Dräger Oxylog VE300 is a prehospital ventilator with a ‘CPR mode’, which is pre-set to deliver ILCOR recommended ventilations as well as modulate flow during compressions in order to effectively deliver tidal volumes without excessive airway pressure.


More than 80% Positive Feedback

The majority of clinicians had a positive experience, and various themes were evident by their comments. Participants suggested that they felt the overall care they provided was enhanced in comparison to using existing equipment.

Clinicians were impressed with the device and its capabilities, and most felt it allowed them to deliver additional and beneficial care to their patients. Whilst feedback was varied, the majority (81.8%) felt that their overall experience was positive.

The CCPs felt that the handover experience was improved by the use of the device, as they felt it helped them deliver a smooth and professional handover with minimal interruptions.

Usage and Alarms

The case mix which was identified
when analysing the usage data clearly shows a high percentage of usage in cardiac arrest, and of the CPR mode. This demonstrates a use for an advanced ventilator with this function, as the currently available ventilator in South East Coast Ambulance Service does not tolerate usage during CPR.

The majority of respondents found the alarms helpful, and comments were varied in terms of reasons why, but a common theme was that individuals were grateful for being alerted to a specific issue that could be addressed.

Mechanical Chest Compression Systems and Supraglottic Airways

The Oxylog VE300 appears on the whole to deliver what it is designed to do. It delivers mechanical ventilation in a range of modes including, uniquely, a CPR mode. This allows clinicians to deploy the device whilst CPR is ongoing: both with human-delivered CPR or, as provided in a small number of cases in this product evaluation, in combination with the LUCAS® Mechanical Chest Compression System.

There were also examples of this device working effectively with the i-gel® supraglottic airway, instead of formal endotracheal intubation. The Oxylog VE300 also provides a further convenient solution to the problem of needing to carry oxygen cylinders to drive the ventilator by allowing their integration into the body of the device.

Just Brew-Ti-Ful: Firefighter Entrepreneurs Serve Up 20,000 Cups of Coffee to COVID-19 Key Workers


Two firefighter entrepreneurs handed out over 20,000 cups of coffee to frontline key workers, including Ambulance staff, during September as they geared up for a second spike in the pandemic.

Matt Broxton, 28, and Tom Taylor, 28, decided to set up an online coffee company because the instant coffee at the fire stations they both worked at was ‘terrible’ and ‘tasted like tarmac’.

They felt all key workers involved in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic ‘deserved a decent cup of coffee’. The young founders set up Frontline Coffee with its profits donated to emergency service and health charities.

The pair has sold 4741.25kg of coffee so far which at 7g a cup is the equivalent of 677,321 cups of coffee with 20,000 of those going direct to the frontline for free during the UK lockdown in the spring.

Matt Broxton (Left) and Tom Taylor (Right)

Frontline Coffee aims to support frontline charities ‘one coffee bean at a time’ and has so far raised over £17,000 with donations made to NHS Charities Together, the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), TASC (The Ambulance Staff Charity) and The Firefighters Charity.

Matt said: “Our emergency and health services are the best in the world, but they are only the best because of the people that make them up. We strive to be a company that supports these amazing people.

Matt Broxton

“Me and Tom both have a passion for real coffee so we always used to joke about how terrible the instant coffee was at the fire station and how it used to taste like tarmac.

“In the fire service after you’ve been out on a ‘shout’ to a house fire or had to deal with a difficult situation, it’s a typically British thing to do to have a coffee or cup of tea.

“When lockdown happened and key workers were having to deal with the enormity of Covid-19, we felt these people would be in even more need of a good cup of coffee when they finally sat down for a break.

“That is why we made it our mission to get good coffee to key workers working exceptionally hard during these troubling times in hospitals, police, fire and ambulance stations during the UK lockdown.

“Our soul mission is also to raise awareness about the great work our frontline services do and raise money for their respective charities. We’re absolutely delighted to have raised more than £17,000 so far.”

Frontline Coffee has taken off so rapidly that Matt has left his job as a firefighter with the London Fire Brigade to focus on their social enterprise full-time. Tom, meanwhile, still works for the Devon and Somerset fire service.

Matt and Tom’s collection includes a blend for each emergency service such as ‘First Response’ supporting TASC, the ‘Bevan Blend’ for NHS Charities Together (named after its creator, Aneurin Bevan), ‘The Thin Red Line’ for Firefighter Charity, and more. Frontline Coffee also sell grinders, brewing kits, specialist tea and merchandise.

The pair got started with one second hand industrial roaster and it is now manufactured on a grand scale in the south west of England. Matt and Tom hand-picked the coffee beans to match the exact taste the pair were looking for. They hand-pack orders themselves before arranging deliveries to customers.

Tom said: “We never expected Frontline Coffee to take off like this but it grew legs so we had to make a decision that one of us would have to take it on full-time.’

Tom Taylor

“We decided that Matt would be better pushing it further on a day-to-day basis as he had created the website and runs all of our social media.’

“We didn’t want to look back in 10 years’ time and say ‘what if?’. We had spoken quite a few times about setting up something for charity and giving something back.’

“The sudden arrival of Covid-19 brought Frontline Coffee forward quicker than either of us ever imagined. It has just been an amazing journey so far.”

Working in the Frontline services clearly runs in both families. Matt’s mum, Jannette was a nurse, and his Dad, Gary and uncle, Ron, were both in the Royal Navy, while girlfriend Rosie, who is Tom’s cousin, is also a nurse. Tom’s wife, Kirsty, meanwhile, is a police detective.

Matt added: “Both mine and Tom’s families both have a history of working for frontline services so I guess we all have it in our blood to help people. Now more than ever, we aim to support our key workers through this next set of challenging times.”

Commendation for Life-Saving Police Officers


The Welsh Ambulance Service has recognised the quick-thinking actions of three South Wales Police officers after they came to the aid of a man who suffered a heart attack at work.

PCs Darren Westall from the Roads Policing Unit at Gwaelod Y Garth, Heledd Roberts and Catherine Frost, both based in Barry, were awarded a Chief Executive’s Commendation by Jason Killens, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, accompanied by South Wales Police Chief Inspector Tony Williams.

The trio of PCs were on duty on 03 April this year when a 51-year-old local bus driver pulled his vehicle over on Barry’s Porthkerry Street complaining of chest pains.

The driver was suffering what would later be described as a “massive heart attack” and a concerned member of the public flagged down nearby Roads Policing Officer PC Westall, who became the first trained person present.

He said: “An ambulance had been called, but I knew there was a defibrillator at the station and with it being close by called in for immediate assistance.”

His colleagues, PCs Roberts and Frost were on response duty and arrived on scene in minutes with the Automated Electronic Defibrillator from outside Barry police station.

Left to Right: PC Frost, Andrew Howell the High Sheriff of South Glamorgan, PC Westall, Jason Killens and PC Roberts

PC Roberts said: “The driver had been moved from his cab to a more spacious seat but collapsed to the ground as his condition worsened.

“We took the decision to deploy the defibrillator as he had lost consciousness and stopped breathing.

“We used the defibrillator and he began breathing again immediately.”

The ambulance arrived soon after and took the patient to the University Hospital Wales, Cardiff where he underwent emergency surgery.

The ambulance service confirmed at the time that the use of the defibrillator had no doubt saved the man’s life.

Making the commendation at Barry ambulance station, Jason Killens said: “Having medically trained colleagues across the emergency services can make all the difference when every second counts.

“The quick thinking and selfless nature of these police officers kick-started the chain of survival for the patient and helped ensure a positive outcome.

“I am proud to present this commendation to these amazing public servants and thank them for everything they have done and continue to do in keeping our communities safe.”

Praising his officers, Chief Inspector Tony Williams, said: “The officers’ quick thinking and the defibrillator have ultimately saved this gentleman’s life.

“Despite the current climate, our officers remain on the frontline, responding to spontaneous incidents, serving communities and doing their very best to keep everyone safe.

“It is pleasing to know we have officers like PC Westall, Roberts and Frost among our ranks.

“Without their calm and quick-thinking actions, professionalism and bravery, the outcome for the bus driver and his loved ones could have been very different.

“I am very proud of their actions and we wish the gentleman a full and speedy recovery.”

Speaking of the commendation, PC Frost said: “We are all honoured and privileged to accept this award.

“Ultimately, we were just doing our jobs and to be commended by our partners in the ambulance service is a pleasant and unexpected surprise.”

The event was also attended by the High Sheriff of South Glamorgan, Andrew Howell.

The Fleet Manager’s Immediate Solution to the Costs of Dirty Diesel


By Carl Rees,
Director, Kognitive LTd.

Having worked in the NHS for the past 25 years I was not surprised to learn that the health service is responsible for around 4% of the nation’s carbon emissions.

To combat this, at the beginning of October the NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens laid out his vision for the NHS to be the world’s first ‘net zero’ national health service, setting a target of becoming carbon net zero by 2040 and cutting harmful emissions by 80 per cent over the next 12 years (Delivering a Net Zero National Health Service, October 2020).

The fact this has remained a top priority during the worst pandemic we have experienced in modern times speaks volumes and underlines how seriously the NHS is taking the issue of climate change and its own contribution to the problem.  

It is accepted that change will not happen overnight and it will take time to implement fully sustainable, green policies locally that will contribute to Sir Simon’s plan. But what can hospitals, primary care organisations, ambulance services and other parts of the health service do immediately to make an instant impact on reducing their emissions?

The same question can be asked of police and fire and rescue services, which also have a duty to cut their own significant carbon emissions in the coming months and years.

One answer lies in replacing their use of fossil diesel fuel by switching their fleet vehicles and generators to GREEND+, a new, enhanced form of HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) paraffinic fuel that is a sustainable, ultra-low emission fossil-free diesel alternative.

Using GREEND+ fuel reduces particulate emissions by up to 85% and Nitrogen Oxides by up to 30% compared to regular diesel, according to independent tests at the Millbrook specialist vehicle testing facility. NHS organisations and emergency services can significantly lower their emissions overnight, greatly reducing their environmental impact while achieving huge improvements to local air quality and the reduction of carbon dioxide, reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions by up to 96%.

Importantly, GREEND+ can be used immediately and without any changes to equipment or fuel tanks, meaning organisations can take climate change action quickly with no costly upgrades to machinery or equipment. This also includes no changes required to the engines of any fleet vehicles; this is a drop-in solution and it is ready to go now, and best of all, it is cost neutral with no capital expenditure required.

To me, it is an absolute no-brainer, which is why private sector organisations are already clamouring to get their hands on this sustainable new fuel. The public sector should not miss the same opportunity, and the NHS and emergency services are key players who can make a significant immediate impact on the environment by switching to this new fuel.

In terms of the product itself, it looks like water and has virtually no smell, unlike dirty diesel. It is made from sustainable organic waste products – not virgin crops – to EN15940 standard. It is stored and dispensed in the same way as normal fuel, but it requires less cleaning around the storage site than normal diesel.

Another key factor is that it does not degenerate in the tank or in storage, and therefore needs no ‘cleaning’ or ‘polishing’ as normal diesel does. It is safe at temperatures down to minus 42.

Fleet managers will love it because using the fuel leads to better performance and longevity of engines, due to no contaminants being in the fuel, less wear in the engine and improved performance of engine lubricants. There are also proven reduced active DPF regenerations and reduced consumption of AdBlue, while data shows that using GREEND+ can improve MPG rates on urban routes too.

In summary this is the here and now solution for the NHS and emergency services journey to net zero emissions. By playing their part, emergency services and NHS organisations can enable immediate improvements in local air quality and reductions in PM2.5, known to be a key factor in respiratory disease.

When you consider 11.3 vehicles on the road using GREEND+ have the same carbon dioxide emissions as one diesel vehicle, this proves that the NHS and emergency services sector can do something simple to help reduce their carbon footprint by acting now, and taking advantage of what is a great bridge between the diesel vehicles we have today and the electric vehicles of the future.

For more information about GREEND+ or to arrange a meeting, please contact carl.rees@kognitive.co.uk

£4.8m Investment for Lincolnshire Specialist Vehicle Conversion Business


As part of exciting expansion plans, specialist vehicle conversion business, Cartwright Conversions Ltd has been bought by the owners of Sheffield-based company Trek Group.

Cartwright Conversions Ltd was a subsidiary of the Cartwright Group that recently went into administration. The new company will now be known as Cartwright Vehicle Conversions Ltd and is based in Belton, North Lincolnshire.

The purchase by Trek Group has also saved 66 jobs at the company which is a specialist convertor for blue light emergency vehicles, Ambulances, Police, Security, and Fire.

Trek Group Managing Director, Tom Janion said: “I have been looking for some time to make a significant acquisition in the Commercial Vehicle and Emergency Services market, and to have secured the market leader really gives us the platform to realise our ambition.’

“I feel very privileged to be able to support such a fantastic company that Steve Shaw and his team have grown. This now makes Trek Group a major player in the Commercial Vehicle and Emergency Services market.’

“With the investment we are making in Cartwright Vehicle Conversions we will be able to develop new innovations that make a real difference to our customers.”

Image Credit: Manchester Commercial Photographer Tim Wallace. All vehicles from Cartwright Vehicle Conversions.

The business is also a key player in the Mobility and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle market and has established a commercial division converting Welfare units, Support Vehicles and Mobile banking units.

Lead by Steve Shaw, who has established a highly skilled and dedicated team of industry professionals, Cartwright Vehicle Conversions Ltd is also a key player in the Ambulance hire market and a supplier to the NHS.

Steve also commented on the good news, saying: “I would like to thank the customer base for their incredible support through the last few weeks. The support has been overwhelming and it is a testament to the strength of relationship and the quality products we produce.’

“It is fantastic to be able to give security to all our employees and thank them for their dedication and loyalty over these difficult few weeks.’

“I look forward to working with Tom, his enthusiasm and investment will allow me to take this business to the next level.”

The full management team will remain in place to ensure that customers have continuity of experiencing quality products and great customer service.

Why I Decided to Respond to the Covid Call-Up

By Gerry Egan QAM, FCPara
Published in Ambulance Today, Issue 2, Volume 17, SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic — Global EMS Response,
Summer Edition 2020

I retired from full time work as Chief Executive of the College of Paramedics on December 31, 2019 with full intentions of rekindling my musicianship and building my bike workshop.

Like most of the world, I watched with horror and incredible sadness the spread of Coronavirus across the globe and its inevitable arrival in the UK.

Spending most of my ambulance life in the Scottish Ambulance Service and knowing the work, training and planning that the service had been doing for many years it was no surprise when the request was made both by the Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS Scotland for retired staff to return to work if possible.

A number of thoughts went through my head; not least, at 64 years of age, ‘was the risk too high in terms of being able to do the job?’

I still work part-time as a paramedic in motorsports and had no concerns about my clinical capability but did have concerns about spending lengthy periods in PPE. Not only that, but did I have the level of physical fitness to cope with 12 hour shifts and the physicality of frontline work?

I considered my mental health too. In the end however, I came to the conclusion that my personal resilience, and the very close networks of family, friends and colleagues I have, made me as well prepared as any other paramedic at this time.

In my heart I knew I could assist and wanted to help in any way I could. One of my go to questions internally from Doc Hinds sprung to mind: “Are my intentions honourable?” Yes, they were.

I completed the online forms and submitted my application through the Scottish Government systems. A few days later I had a couple of responses and started the process of being recruited to Bank Staff with both NHS Lothian and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

A number of calls have had a significant mental health element to them … On several occasions I have stayed on a call … to listen and chat, and hopefully help the patient.

I had discussions with my wife and family and we decided that frontline ambulance was not going to be the best thing for me to do. My previous post was as clinical director and my paramedic consultant post was in clinical decision-making around telephone triage, and this was the area I offered to return in.

I attended a three-day course with the Scottish Ambulance Service and, along with a number of others who returned to the service, worked through the core skills and changes that had taken place over the last few years. This included a driving assessment on a modern ambulance to ensure that we were safe and competent. 

Looking around the room at our “socially distanced” group it was clear that there was close to 600 years of experience between us. Yet despite this, we all shared very honestly the trepidation we felt, the limitations we thought we may have and our overwhelming desire to help patients in whatever way we could.

Gerry Egan QAM, FCPara, hard at work on his bike

Mental preparation for me was going to be important. Like most paramedics, I have seen my share of good and bad things over the years and expected this would be amongst the worst and most challenging.

My own decision was to limit myself to one news programme a day, watch the government briefings and follow on social media the people I found to be factual and credible and non-sensationalist. I followed the scientific evidence as it appeared, and developed my own opinion on what was going to be right for me and my family.

Coronavirus was, and still is affecting our family in the same way as every other person in the country. We weren’t able to see or hug our grandkids for several months which was incredibly tough and our youngest son, who is an adult and has learning disabilities was in lockdown with his carers for fourteen weeks, so we had to rely on the wonderful care team to keep us updated. Thankfully, since then, we’ve been able to have him home for a weekend which was pretty emotional.

I started my first shift with NHS Lothian in the Covid hub at the beginning of May 2020 and, after a short induction and familiarisation with the software and processes, I was up and running. The team is mostly made up of General Practitioners, and I am the only paramedic on the team.

The GPs have been incredibly supportive and are always on hand to answer a question or suggest a direction for a patient. Learning the referrals pathway has been a steep learning curve, but again I’ve been assisted by a team happy to advise and support.

From a paramedic perspective, the work (I do 3 or 4 shifts per week in the Covid Triage Centre) is interesting and very different to working on an ambulance. I see a patient’s clinical record, emergency care summary, previous NHS contact and current medicines all before I speak to the patient or carer.

This adds greatly to the decision-making process and assists in getting a good patient outcome. A number of calls have had a significant mental health element to them, often due to lockdown changing people’s interaction with the world around them. On several occasions I have stayed on a call (when no other patients are waiting) to listen and chat, and hopefully help the patient.

To date, I have not been asked to undertake any ambulance shifts as current demand and levels are being incredibly well managed by NHS boards. But if the situation changes in the future, then I’m more than ready and willing to do my bit.

Dräger Expands Capacity For Respiratory Masks As It Sets Up Production Facility In UK

Dräger has received an order from the British government to deliver respiratory protection masks (FFP3) in order to help protect emergency health professionals on the frontline as they continue to respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

With provision starting this year and lasting right up until the end of 2021, the expected net profit of sales is expected to reach roughly EUR 100 million.

In a bid to stimulate more economic activity within the UK, Dräger has decided to keep production in the Blyth area of Northumberland, where it has had a development and production site for respiratory protection technology for firefighters and industry for over 50 years.

In addition to the existing production network in Sweden and South Africa, and the recently decided new production sites in France and the US, this means that there will be a considerable percentage of high quality respiratory protection masks available on the market for emergency health care professionals, manufactured by a company with a long history of expertise within that specific industry.

The investment into the expansion of production capacities across all five production sites will require a mid-double-digit million euro amount in the 2020 financial year.

Rainer Klug,
Chief Officer of Safety Division,

Rainer Klug, Chief Officer of Safety Division at Dräger said: “We are very pleased about the major order from the British government.’

“It gives us the opportunity to expand our international production network for FFP masks. With this additional production unit, Dräger will increase volumes quickly and flexibly.’

“Our international production network enables us to react very quickly and specifically to national or local requirements on the one hand, and to cover international requirements in a closely networked and flexible manner on the other.’

“Dräger thus operates a highly responsive manufacturing system for certified FFP respiratory protection masks, with a product design originating from our own development in Germany”.

Annual Carers Survey Launched by Welsh Ambulance

If you look after a family member or friend, then the Welsh Ambulance Service wants to hear from you during August as part of its Carers Survey 2020.

Caring for anybody with a physical or mental disability, a person with substance misuse issues or providing extra help as someone grows older can be extremely testing and impact on the carer’s own life and wellbeing.

The Ambulance Service would love to hear your experiences of caring — especially if you’ve had cause to use any of their services such as emergency care response, falls team, non-emergency patient transport or community engagement work.

Executive Director of Quality and Nursing for Welsh Ambulance, Claire Roche said: “Gathering personal experiences from carers is vital to us and will help build greater understanding and shape how we meet their needs in the future.’

Claire Roche,
Executive Director of Quality & Nursing,

“I would urge anybody in a care role to make their voice heard and let us know via the survey how they have found our response when they have needed to call.”

Run by the Patient Experience and Community Involvement (PECI) team, the survey is in its second year.

Matt James from the PECI team added: “Reaching out to those who are caring for loved ones can be a lifeline.’

“To provide a safe forum and support network is essential in helping people feel understood and that they are not alone.

“Our annual survey will help us to further understand the issues faced by people we may not physically be able to reach.”

Follow the work Welsh Ambulance do with carers on Twitter @WelshAmbPIH.

To take the survey visit https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/1_WASTCarers2020/

The Prince of Wales Meets Emergency Services Staff


The Prince of Wales has met representatives from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS), and Devon and Cornwall Police.  

His Royal Highness (HRH) visited Exeter Middlemoor Fire Station on Wednesday 22 July to express his support and thanks for the work undertaken by the three services so far in response to Covid-19.

He heard first-hand from various personnel about the pressures on the services, and how they have adapted with dedication and professionalism to meet the challenges.

Left to right: Conor Calby, Newly Qualified Paramedic; Kye Brooks, Paramedic; Mark Evans, on-call firefighter who will join SWASFT on Monday 27 July an Emergency Care Assistant; Rob Partridge, on-call fire crew manager and volunteer ambulance driver; Jessica Cunningham, Executive Director of Operations at SWASFT; Derek McCullough, an officer with SWASFT who has been the overall co-ordinator for the scheme.

SWASFT has worked in close partnership with the region’s fire services during the pandemic, with firefighters supporting ambulance crews by driving vehicles and working alongside clinicians to provide care and assistance to patients.

Jessica Cunningham, Executive Director of Operations at SWASFT, said: “We are delighted that HRH has been able to hear first-hand about the invaluable amazing contribution of our fire service partners across the region in our response to Covid-19.

“We were able to stand this project up extremely quickly, which was really important because nobody knew in March exactly what the impact of Covid-19 would be on the population of the South West.

“We are extremely grateful for the level of collaboration with all the region’s fire services, which has truly benefitted our service to patients.

“We are discussing with the fire chiefs how we will continue to work together, as this partnership has been a really positive experience for both services.” 

HRH Prince Charles with Jessica Cunningham, Executive Director of Operations at SWASFT, and Derek McCullough

In March SWASFT formally requested the five South West fire and rescue services to provide ambulance drivers as part of its Covid-19 response.

SWASFT invested in a fleet of 15 additional ambulances, which would be driven by volunteer firefighters across the South West 24/7.

Initially they attended lower priority calls with Emergency Care Assistants (ECAs), but since the end of June have worked alongside paramedics to respond to all categories of emergency.

So far the volunteers have attended a total of more than 4,500 incidents.

Derek McCullough, an officer with SWASFT who has co-ordinated the partnership, said: “The volunteers are genuinely saving lives.’

“There have been cases where they have assisted with CPR and have revived various people. They have also been involved in challenging hospital transfers in the South West and beyond for patients with severe burns and life-threatening brain injuries. One crew also helped to deliver a baby girl called Elsie.”

Mark Evans, an on-call firefighter, is leaving his job as a supermarket manager to join SWASFT as an ECA after helping to deliver baby Elsie.

He said: “When I was at school I wanted to be either a footballer or a paramedic. I’ve really enjoyed partnering with SWAST during the pandemic, and everyone has made me feel part of the team. I’m starting-off as an ECA and eventually aim to become a paramedic.”

HRH also met Newly Qualified Paramedic Conor Calby, Paramedic Kye Brooks, and Rob Partridge, on-call fire crew manager and volunteer ambulance driver.

MDA Aim for 15 Minute Corona Test Results


As part of the fight against the spread of the Corona virus and in order to reduce the time for receiving Corona test results, the Ministry of Health and Magen David Adom began pilot at the MDA “Drive and Test” complex in Lod in cooperation with the Mehuedet and Clalit HMOs.

Today, the average time to receive results is 48-72 hours, depending on the laboratory’s work load and the number of daily tests. As part of the trial, the Ministry of Health is interested in reducing the waiting time to only 15 minutes.

A pilot began yesterday (Wednesday) at the MDA “Drive and Test” in Lod in the presence of Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and Deputy Health Minister MK Yoav Kisch who have personally accompany the program from the beginning.

Magen David Adom, Israel’s National Emergency Medical and Blood Services Organization, which was chosen to take the samples for the trial, set up a dedicated mobile laboratory at the “Drive and Test” facility using mobile laboratory technology developed by “Sofia”.

The system brings innovative technology of speed and mobility and can be adapted for use in specific locations which require a more rapid response such as nursing homes, military bases, airports and more.

Only those who come with a referral from the their physician for a Corona test are sampled. Participants are requested to allow for two tests to be obtained at the same time — one regular and one for the rapid laboratory, with the results attached to a test sent to the lab and tested for comparison with the regular test.

A dedicated computing platform will monitor the tests, decryption times and treatment pace. The results will be forwarded to the Ministry of Health and after the results are completed and evaluated, the expansion of the trial will be determined.

MDA Medical Director, Dr. Rafael Strugo: “We at MDA believe that the cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the trial will yield results in the field, shorten the wait times and make the testing process more efficient and simpler for all parties — testers and patients.’

“Rapid results will make it possible to increase the range of tests and thus more effectively track and manage the spread of the virus.”

Deputy Minister of Health, MK Yoav Kisch: “At the request of Minister Edelstein, I started looking for technologies that could help in the fight against the Corona virus.’

“This system operates in the United States with hundreds of thousands of tests and is of course FDA approved,in an expedited procedure.’

“The big advantage of the system is that it is in the field and can provide 40 tests per hour and can certainly suit nursing homes and other sensitive places.’

“We will continue to search and test technology from Israel and the world that can help the State of Israel in dealing with the Corona virus.’

“I would like to thank MDA for joining the trial and the Clalit and Meuhedet HMOs that operate the pilot complex in Lod”.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein: “In recent days, we have crossed the 30,000 mark of tests per day, thanks in part to the My Heritage lab we put into operation.’

“Towards winter, the number of tests must be significantly increased and the time until results reduced. These will help us break the chain of infection. The Ministry of Health is working tirelessly on this.”

MDA Director General Eli Bin: “We congratulate the Minister of Health and the Deputy Minister on the start of the trial with the latest technology, which will help all those involved in the mission.’

“Shortening the response time for citizens is an essential part of the national fight against the spread of the Corona virus in Israel.’

“We will continue to be at the forefront of the fight against the spread of the virus, which is currently on the rise.’

“I sincerely hope that the results of the trial will help dramatically reduce waiting times and provide a quick diagnosis for future patients that will also have a positive effect on the entire economy. “