Paramedic Pip talks about Spring and Summer-time, safety tips and being prepared
It’s time to shake off the winter blues and get set for adventure this spring. As temperatures and daylight hours increase the opportunities for freedom, relaxation and exploration do too.
Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) is asking you to take their safety advice on board this spring whilst you enjoy lighter nights, warmer weekend weather, and spending time in the great outdoors.
Each day is different for DLRAA, however the number of sporting and outdoor related call outs often increase dramatically at this time of year. Throughout May 2013 1 in 5 incidents DLRAA attended were related to outdoor sporting accidents.
Just this week, the team from DLRAA were called out to help a 22-year old man who fell from a tree whilst out and about in the Peak District.
Taking part in activities like cycling, climbing or simply walking your dog is fun, good for you and for most people trouble-free, but there are possible risks. Air ambulance paramedic Philippa Gibbs has some helpful tips for planning ahead.
Philippa says: “When I am not working at the Air Ambulance I really enjoy taking part in many different outdoor activities, particularly riding my horse. It’s a great time of year to get out and enjoy the nature of the countryside, but it’s important to make sure you stay safe too. I always make sure I check my route before I leave the stables, let someone know where I am going and roughly how long I plan to be out for.”
Beautiful rural areas, perfect for hiking, horse riding and mountain biking are often remote locations which can be extremely difficult for emergency services to reach in a hurry. This is one reason why the services of your local Air Ambulance are relied upon during spring time. DLRAA’s state of the art Agusta helicopter can travel at speeds up to 185mph and reach many places that are inaccessible to a land ambulance.
To help you stay safe in your community Philippa has some top tips to help you get set for Spring/Summer.
She continues: “if you are taking part in a particular activity, such as cycling or hiking, it is extremely important to make sure you are wearing the correct protective wear and that after a long winter in the garage it is a really good idea to check all safety equipment to make sure it is in full working order.
“It only takes a couple of minutes to make these small checks but they can really make a difference to your safety.”
6 Safety Tips:
1) Going out walking? Take a friend, or at the very least make sure you have a charged mobile phone to take with you. If the route you are planning to take is particularly rural, make sure you plan ahead and take a map.
2) Are you a keen horse rider? Try and stick to dedicated bridle paths when you are out riding.
3) Do you prefer to spend time on the water? If you are going sailing or planning a boat trip this spring, always wear a life jacket.
4) If running is what you enjoy avoid listening to music in urban areas so that you can stay aware of any approaching vehicles and other pedestrians.
5) Do you love hiking or climbing? Make sure you check that your equipment is in full working order esoecially if it hasn’t been used for a period of time.
6) If you like to cycle make sure you wear a helmet.
Since the end of March, DLRAA has been working longer shifts to ensure they are available throughout daylight hours to help as many people as possible.
DLRAA pilots, paramedics and doctors are now on call between 9am and 7pm, 7 days a week, whilst sister service Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) is available from 7am until 5pm.
Both Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) work together to provide the best possible cover of critical care, and a rapid means of transport to those who need it most.
DLRAA receives no Government funding and relies entirely on public donations to keep them flying and saving lives.
Please support your Air Ambulance so that their crew can be there for people in your community this summer at their greatest time of need.
To make a donation please call 08454 130999 or visit: www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk/getsetspring