Operations staff go global

Monday, 10 March, 2008

Staff in the Emergency Operations Centre at Brierley Hill in the West Midlands are being dubbed 'International Rescue' by colleagues after coming to the aid of two patients on foreign shores.

In the first incident, staff received a 999 call from a man in England, saying his sister was unwell. They were somewhat surprised to learn that his sister was in Coogey Bay, near Sydney, Australia!

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said, "As the Call Assessor took the details of the patient, the Duty Supervisor called the Australian Embassy to pass the information on, while an Emergency Medical Dispatcher surfed the internet for the address that had been given. A match was found.

"At the Australian Embassy, a member of Consulate staff in Foreign Affairs began liaising with local police in Maroubra.
"The Consulate later informed West Midlands Ambulance Service that the patient had been admitted to the Prince of Wales Hospital and was in a stable condition."

Just 24 hours later the same shift was called upon to help a patient in Spain. This time the call was from a woman in Erdington saying that her brother was unwell in a hotel in Torremolinos.
Again the ingenuity of the staff in the Emergency Operations Centre was put to the test. After failing to get an answer from the Spanish Embassy, they used the internet to get a direct number for the hotel.

Despite language difficulties, the EOC staff were able to make contact with a friend of the 28-year-old man who was unwell. She was able to call a doctor and a local ambulance and the man was taken to hospital and is believed to be recovering.

EOC Supervisor, Antony Glyptis, said, "Everyone in the team is really proud of the way that we are managing to help patients wherever they are; here in the West Midlands or around the world.
"There is clearly a determination not to let any barriers stand in the way of getting help to people who need it.

Patient care is our number one priority and these two cases are proof of just how much each patient matters."

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