London Ambulance Service Thanks Children for “Sharing” Their Mums and Dads

The children of medics and call handlers at London Ambulance Service have been sent heartfelt letters from their parents’ bosses.

The letters have been sent to more than 1000 children thanking them for “sharing” their mum or dad with the ambulance service so they can care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sarah Ablewhite’s son, Jack

Paramedic Sarah Ablewhite made the difficult decision to live apart from her 14-year-old son in March.

She said: “My son Jack takes a lot of medication, also his dad has some respiratory issues, so I wanted to protect them. But it has been the hardest thing.’

“We Facetime a lot but it gets very emotional. We both go through all the emotions — he has been scared about me working but also frustrated and angry he can’t see me.’

“Getting the letter just made him so proud and lifted his spirits.”

Ambulance crew Mark Reeve has been living in a hotel since the outbreak of the pandemic to protect his asthmatic six-year-old son.

Mark Reeve’s son, Christopher

Mark said: “It has been very hard to be away from him, particularly missing his sixth birthday, but I felt it was more than just my job to be on the frontline; it was something I had to do.’

“London Ambulance Service is also my family. I don’t know when I will be reunited with Christopher but it meant so much for him to get a letter.’

“He’s no longer worried, he thinks of me as a superhero, saving lives.” 

At the peak of the pandemic, London Ambulance Service was getting as many as 11,000 calls a day.

Charlene Letts, emergency ambulance crew and a mum-of-three, suggested the Service send a message out to families at a time when staff were working long and gruelling shifts.

Charlene Letts’ children, Kiera-Louize (11), Harrison (7), and Sophia (2)

Managers thought it was a great idea and immediately starting sending out the letters — which are personalised for every child.

Charlene said: “The letters are reassuring and made our children feel so special, it said they were heroes and thanked them personally for everything they are doing to help mummy and daddy.’

“This made them feel a part of the Service and that they were helping.’

“It has given me great pleasure that something positive can come out of what has been and continues to be challenging times.”

Shurelle with his son

Emergency medical technician Shurelle Elvique said: “Listening to my eldest son read out the letter gave me a sense of pride, I had tears in my eyes.’

“My youngest said it was ok, he did not mind sharing me so I could help look after sick people.’

“The letter made me feel appreciated in such a tough time, like I was really making a difference.”

Lorraine Quinlan, who works in one of the Service’s 999 control rooms, said: “My son has been so scared and has cried every time I’ve left home to go on shift.’

“Getting this letter has been a massive boost to him — and my daughter.”

Letters have also been sent to grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews — any child who has struggled while a loved one has been working. 

Chief Operating Officer of London Ambulance Service Khadir Meer said: “The sacrifice that our people and their children have made during the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of extraordinary.’

“I am incredibly indebted to our team for everything they have done and continue to do to care for Londoners.’

“With my own son having received a letter from the Chief Executive, I know only too well the power of this kind of letter written personally to your child in helping them understand the role their parents have played in tackling this crisis.”

London Community Donates Off-Road Ambucycle to Volunteer Who Saved One Of Their Own

This story begins on Friday, July 12th, 2019, at 6:45 AM.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Eilon Lubiner, who, at the time, worked on a farm for youth at risk, had just finished milking the goats.

The early morning quiet, normally punctuated only by quaint animal sounds, was suddenly disrupted by the crackle of Eilon’s United Hatzalah communication device serious car accident, multiple victims.

The dedicated volunteer quickly jumped into his car and sped off towards the scene near the Good Samaritan junction. Eilon left his farm at the Mishom Adumim junction and arrived in just over 3 minutes.

Eilon was the first responder on-site and quickly surveyed the wreckage. Hearing a faint cry from the car, Eilon leaned into the vehicle, finding only one survivor with signs of life.

Eilon (left) and Elad (right) stand at the place where the accident occurred with the newly donated ambucycle
Photo credit: Yechiel Grufein — United Hatzalah

The veteran EMT, seeing that the victim was trapped by the mangled metal, caringly told him “I’m a medic and here to help you. Tell me what hurts you?”

The young man replied that he felt an extremely sharp pain in his arm and that he was bleeding heavily from the limb.

The experienced medic quickly removed his Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) from his medical kit and readied it for use.

Fortunately, a minute later a special rescue unit arrived which happened to be led by Eilon’s father, an experienced officer in the Israeli Fire Department.

Eilon on the new ambucycle
Photo credit: Yechiel Grufein — United Hatzalah

The crew rapidly cut away the side of the car and extricated the victim, whose arm was nearly completely severed.

As the patient was transferred from father to son, he lost consciousness.

Eilon, together with another medic, swiftly and proficiently applied the CAT, stopping the lethal blood flow and effectively saving the young man’s life.

An intensive care ambulance crew arrived and the paramedic administered pain relief drugs. Suddenly, the victim lost consciousness and the team worked feverishly to stabilize his condition.

A few minutes later the man regained consciousness and was whisked away to Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital for emergency microsurgery.

The following week, Eilon contacted the man’s parents and was pleased to hear that the surgery was successful and that the doctors were hopeful that the young man would regain the full use of his arm.

The inscription on the ambucycle
Photo credit: Yechiel Grufein — United Hatzalah

Meanwhile, Eli Beer, the founder and President of United Hatzalah, had received an email from his good friend Rabbi Lionel Rosenfeld. The Rabbi related to Eli that he was in Mt. Scopus hospital with his grandson, Elad, who had survived a horrible car accident that took the lives of 2 of his friends. 

Shortly afterward, Eli, together with Eilon’s father who had led the extrication team, visited Elad in the hospital.

The Friday after the accident, Eilon also visited Elad in the hospital. It was an emotional visit between the two previous strangers who now felt the deep bond of survivor and lifesaver.

Eilon also met Elad’s grateful parents who, at a loss for words, simply embraced the United Hatzalah volunteer who had literally saved their son’s life and limb.

Eilon kept tabs on Elad and visited him every couple of weeks and also got regular updates from his parents.

“It was incredibly moving for me to get these updates from his parents to see how he was coming along especially after having seen him at the beginning”, Eilon said.

“Every time or my father went to visit him, we shook his left hand to see how he was coming along and whether he was able to move it,”

11 months later, the family showed their gratitude by donating a specialized ambucycle to United Hatzalah just for Eilon.

Eilon on the new ambucycle
Photo credit: Yechiel Grufein — United Hatzalah

“The ambucycle is uniquely outfitted for the terrain in the Judean desert where I live and work. It is a motorcycle that can ride both on the roads as well as on sandy and difficult terrain”, Eilon continued.

“I work in areas where the only way to get there is with dirt roads. We also have a lot of search and rescue operations on the hills and mountains of the Judean desert and a regular motorcycle would not be able to traverse the difficult terrain.” 

“It was so moving for me to see him on his feet, fully healed at the site of the accident. Seeing his whole family at the dedication event, really brought the message home to me that when we save a person we really do save an entire world.”

“I am incredibly thankful to the family for donating this ambucycle to the organization. I will use and endeavor to save as many lives as I can.” 

Elad also wished to thank Eilon for all of his help: “I hope that the motorcycle which my family was able to donate to United Hatzalah for Eilon will help him save others as he saved me’

“It is a small thing that we could do to help him in his efforts, far smaller than what he did for me. He is truly an amazing human being.”

Elad’s father Ra’anan spoke about why the family decided to make the donation to United Hatzalah and why they wanted this specialized ambucycle to go to Eilon: “We met Eilon and his wife Emunah in the waiting room at Hadassah Ein Kerem’s intensive care unit just a few days after Elad’s accident.’

“The meeting was very powerful for us. Eilon described each minute of what happened for Elad after the accident until he was rescued and taken by ambulance to Har HaTzofim hospital.’

Eilon receiving the ambucycle at the dedication ceremony as the Hirsh family (left) looks on.
Photo credit: Yechiel Grufein — United Hatzalah

“We were very emotional and moved to tears. We hugged Eilon and a connection quickly developed between him and our family that is difficult to describe in words.”

A few weeks later we were asked to speak at the WMA Synagogue in London for the Kol Nidre address.

“The address has been slated to be a fundraising drive for United Hatzalah even before the accident took place, but after the dramatic rescue of Eilon, the Shul’s Rabbi, who is also my father-in-law and Elad’s grandfather, asked us to speak about the rescue itself”, continued Ra’anan.

“To help raise money during Kol Nidre in support of United Hatzalah is something we were happy to do. We asked the Kehilla that the donation be made specifically for a new heavy-duty ambucycle for Eilon.’

“My family and I thank Hashem for giving us this opportunity to say thank you and to recognize the gift that Eilon and United Hatzalah gave to us.” 

Air Ambulance Heroes Need Your Help

Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) has announced that it has raised more than £1m so far through its Coronavirus Emergency Appeal.

However, despite the generousity of all those who could donate, this is just over a third of the total shortfall which the charity was predicting.

Air Ambulances are reserved for only the most urgent and distressing emergencies which occur in our communities.

Recent cancellations of major events and a sudden decrease in fundraising income has caused a notable decrease in the vital funds which they need in order to operate and to serve us.

The life-saving charity launched its Coronavirus Emergency Appeal in April to cover the additional costs of operating its world-class pre-hospital emergency response service safely during the pandemic.

As a charity, this vital service relies heavily charitable donations from people like you, with some money also coming from grants.

KSS Crew with an emergency Air Ambulance

It costs KSS £14 million a year to deliver its emergency service, in which specialist doctors and paramedics provide critical treatment to patients at the scene of serious incidents where only the very highest skills sets available will do.

89% of these funds are typically raised through the incredible generosity of the people of Kent, Surrey and Sussex and the amazing people who volunteer and fundraise for them.

However, during this unprecedented year, the charity has been forced to launch an Emergency Appeal for the first time in its 30 year history.

KSS emergency Air Ambulance in flight

The charity has managed to raise £1m to date, thanks to the generous support from the public which has formed 86% of the money raised, and a Government grant which was shared across the 21 Air Ambulance charities within the UK.

Because all major fundraising events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, and many traditional methods of raising money are now severely challenged, KSS is still facing a significant income shortfall and must raise a further £1.9m to ensure it can continue to save lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

David Welch, CEO of KSS commented: “We simply cannot thank people enough for the support we have received so far.’

View from a KSS emergency Air Ambulance helicopter

“When we launched our appeal, we aimed to raise £535,000 initially to meet the immediate additional costs of continuing our life-saving service during the pandemic and we have received an amazing response.’

“It is truly humbling how generous people can be. We’ve received help from a wide range of sources and in a variety of forms — from financial donations from our supporters and the communities we serve, through to PPE from local businesses, the loan of four vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover and a large supply of oil and AdBlue for our response vehicles from Moove.’

“Every single donation, every single gift has helped, and we are so thankful to everyone who has responded so far.’

“Yet, despite this and the contribution from Government, with the continued impact of the pandemic we still face a significant shortfall of £1.9m.’

“Last year, we were called out to help over 2,500 people in life-threatening situations across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.’

“We have an outstanding, highly skilled medical team and we are determined to continue to deliver the best possible outcomes for our patients and to continue to run our charity efficiently and responsibly.’

KSS Crew proudly show their gratitude for the £1m raised

“To secure our future, we urgently need your continued support – there are so many ways you can join those in the community who have already supported and got involved.’

“Let’s work together to continue to save lives during this difficult and unprecedented time.”

KSS has been rated “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in all five of its inspection criteria: ‘safe’, ‘effective’, ‘caring’, ‘responsive’ and ‘well-led’.

It is the only Air Ambulance Service to have achieved this, as well as being the busiest in the UK. KSS is also the only UK Air Ambulance Service which is able to fly to emergencies 24/7.  

To support the KSS Coronavirus Emergency Appeal, please visit

Virtual Event Replaces Popular Rescue Day This Year

After the coronavirus pandemic caused this year’s popular Rescue Day to be cancelled, organisers are marking the day online instead looking back at previous years of the event.

Saturday 11th July will see the Rescue Day social media accounts come alive with videos and pictures of the best bits of the last few years.

The team behind Rescue Day, the annual 999 day held at 7 Lakes Country Park in Crowle, North Lincolnshire, didn’t want the day to pass without remembering some of the fantastic fun and action which takes place.

The hugely popular day promotes the great work of our emergency and voluntary services and attracts crowds in the tens of thousands.

999 vehicles and crews including Police, fire, ambulance, water rescue, air ambulance, search and rescue, rail and highways rescue and recovery teams and many more, normally all come together to show the public what they do through a series of live action displays.

Chris Long, Chair of the Rescue Day Society, said: “Like many thousands of events across the country Rescue Day cannot take place this year, however we wanted to still celebrate the great work of our emergency services and voluntary organisations by having a virtual Rescue Day looking back at some of the action packed scenarios and fun that has taken place over recent years.’

“Many of the volunteers who make Rescue Day happen are emergency service staff or key-workers themselves and therefore have been working hard over the last few months, for which I want to pass on my sincere thanks.”

Chris went on to say: “I know the many thousands of visitors who attend Rescue Day with their families will sadly be missing the day this year, but hopefully they will enjoy the range of videos and content we will be sharing online.’

“I’m sure everyone will be pleased to know that we have already set a date for Rescue Day 2021 as Saturday 10th July and we hope that we will be able to return for another live action packed day in Crowle.”

Rescue Day raises money for charities and good causes and has funded many lifesaving public defibrillators which have been placed in local communities over recent years.

Last year donations were also presented to Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, the Scunthorpe Sea Cadets, plus volunteer rescue teams including York Rescue Boat, Humber Rescue and International Rescue Corps.

Donations were also given to the popular Pete Lewin Newfoundland rescue and support dogs organisation and to the volunteer animal rescuers from British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

Further donations to good causes will be announced online on Saturday 11th July.

Enjoy the virtual Rescue Day from 10am on Saturday 11th July on social media

Twitter: @Rescue_Day
Instagram: @rescueday

More information can be found at

Welsh Ambulance Service’s Work with Dementia Community Celebrated in TV Documentary

The Welsh Ambulance Service’s work with the dementia community is being celebrated in a new documentary series which explores the ground-breaking advances being made to help people with the disease.

A link to the docu-series available at the end of this article.

Hope in the Age of Dementia examines how the Trust has enlisted the support of people with dementia to help shape and deliver training across the workforce.

The programme, a joint venture by the ITN Productions and Alzheimer’s Disease International, also hears from leaders in the field of neuroscience, research and drug discovery.

Alison Johnstone, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Programme Manager for Dementia, said: “For people living with dementia, using an ambulance – whether it’s for an emergency or a planned trip – can often be a stressful experience.

Alison Johnstone,
Programme Manager for Dementia, WAST,
Appearing on Hope in the Age of Dementia

“We’re really trying to understand the needs of people living with dementia so that we can strengthen and improve our services in future.’

“What’s been wonderful is that people living with dementia are involved in that work and are front and centre delivering that training with us, and for us.”

People with dementia have also been invited into the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centres to see how 999 calls are triaged, as well as to ambulance stations to offer a view on how dementia-friendly they find the vehicles, equipment and uniforms.

Linda Willis, of Newport, who was diagnosed with dementia aged 61, has been among those involved in the work.

“It’s given me such a confidence boost, I can’t praise the ambulance service enough,” she said.

“They actually listen to what people with dementia want and need from the service, and have delivered it, and that means so much.”

A still from ITN Productions and Alzheimer’s Disease International’s new documentary series, ‘Hope in the Age of Dementia’

Dementia affects more than 50 million people worldwide and this number is expected to more than triple by 2050.

Funding from Welsh Government has helped make much of the Trust’s work a reality.

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “The Welsh Ambulance Service’s innovative work to improve the experiences of people living with dementia exemplifies the aims set out in our Dementia Action Plan for Wales, recognising the different ways in which people living with dementia require support.

“This co-productive approach to developing and delivering training shows the value of listening to people living with dementia and rightly ensures services are person-centred.”
Claire Roche, the Trust’s Executive Director of Quality and Nursing, added: “Knowing how to recognise dementia and respond appropriately can make all the difference to a patient’s support, care and treatment.

“That’s why we’re so committed to hearing first-hand about their experience, so that we can make our services even better for them.

“This programme is an incredible opportunity for the Welsh Ambulance Service to showcase our dementia work and promote the exciting dementia programme we have in Wales.”  

Hope in the Age of Dementia can be viewed here.

South Western Ambulance Service Trust Welcomes new CEO Will Warrender

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is pleased to welcome incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Will Warrender CBE.

Will succeeds Ken Wenman, who retires, after more than 40 years’ service in the NHS.

“We are very excited that Will is joining us, bringing a wealth of leadership experience in complex and challenging environments,” said Chairman Tony Fox.  

With over 30 years’ Royal Navy experience, Will has spent much of his time at sea, where he commanded five warships; and ashore he led national and coalition maritime operations across 2.5 million square miles of water, in the Gulf.

Will Warrender CBE,

In 2018 he was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the military Operational Honours List and was awarded the US Legion of Merit in 2017 for his contribution to coalition maritime operations in the Gulf.

“His personal values are a great alignment with those of the Trust and we know that he will be an inclusive and compassionate leader, able to take us forward as we continue our drive to be an outstanding organisation in all that we do.’

“Finally, I would like to say thank you and to recognise the commitment and contribution Ken Wenman has made to SWASFT and to the Ambulance sector as a whole throughout his career.’

“Ken has driven innovation into the sector and has been instrumental in the development of paramedic clinical practices.’

“He was also at the forefront of successful mergers that shaped the Regional Service we have today. We wish him all the very best in his well-earned retirement,” said Mr Fox.

Outgoing-CEO Ken Wenman said: “It has been my privilege to serve the people and south west communities as SWASFT CEO.’

“We have a team of fantastic people and a firm foundation of patient-centred service on which to grow, under the next chapter of leadership.’

Ken Wenman,
CEO (Retired),

“Choosing the right time to retire has not been an easy decision; however SWASFT is in a good position and I am confident that the Board, led by Tony Fox and new CEO Will Warrender will seize the many opportunities that lie ahead.”

CEO Will Warrender said: “I am truly honoured to join the Trust at this highly unusual time — mid-global pandemic. Over the past few months, I have been inspired by the courage, dedication and continued commitment to patient and staff care.’

“I am reassured that my transition into the role will be supported by a caring Board, a strong Executive team and passionate people, where together we will maintain service continuity as the south west region manages and mitigates the impacts of Covid-19.

“My commitment as CEO is to compassionately lead a Trust that treats its people with respect, care, dignity and a culture that promotes transparency, inclusion, honesty, engagement, fairness, diversity and challenge.

“Together with our people and through patient and community feedback, I will be taking us on a  journey to achieve our 2025 and 2030 goals to deliver a world-class service, by making sure we are operationally fit-for-the-future and able to cope with increased demands of activity,” said Mr Warrender.

From July, Will sets out to safely meet as many of our 4500-strong workforce and 800 volunteers as possible, from across SWASFT. This will be achieved through carefully organised meetings using social distancing measures, personal protective equipment and virtual forums.

Green-Fingered Firefighters Display Appreciation to Ambulance Service Colleagues

Bedford firefighters who were enlisted to help the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) drive ambulances during the Coronavirus pandemic have designed and built a memorial garden at Luton ambulance station to show appreciation to their new workmates.

The inspiration for the ‘DIY SOS’ makeover came after the firefighters from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue saw two bouquets in the garden in memory of much-missed ambulance workers who had died of cancer and suicide.

They strongly felt that a much grander tribute was needed which would also serve as a tranquil environment to relax during breaks. 

With no Percy Throwers or Alan Titchmarshs in the group, the firefighters sought the help of Bruce Liddle of Newbury Farm Plant in Silsoe who not only gave advice on the design of the garden but also supplied the plants for free.

Mike King, one of the firefighters working as an ambulance driver at EEAST, said: “The fire team have really enjoyed working alongside such a passionate and dedicated group of people during the pandemic.

“They have made us feel so welcome and we thought the best way to say thank you was to leave a lasting memory by building the memorial garden — something they have been trying to get enough funds together to build for some time.

“We wanted to ensure that it was just right, knowing full well how important it is to them, and I am glad it has been so well received.”

Simon King, head of operations at EEAST for Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton, says the whole of the team have been bowled over by the gesture.

“I would like to thank the firefighters for this phenomenal gift which has been so appreciated by everyone in the team,” he said.

“The way the firefighters have fitted into the teams right across Bedfordshire has been remarkable and both services are looking to build on this collaborative spirit and camaraderie. There are already a number of projects we are working on together to benefit patients.

“The garden itself is magnificent and is a fitting tribute to our much-missed colleagues.”

Durabook Is Empowering Crews Like You on the Ambulance

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, or contact to find out how Durabook can support your ambulance service.

Airbox Systems Launch Free ResilienceDirect Mapping Platform With Cabinet Office

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

Further enquiries should be directed to

Coronavirus: Ambulance Staff Report 290 Violence & Aggression Incidents

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,

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.