West Yorkshire | Hero trio recognized by fire station commander

Cookridge | 24 April 2012

Cookridge station commander, Nigel Atkins, has hailed three local heroes who helped avoid a potential tragedy in Headingley last August.

Jill Taylor, who lives in Woodbridge Vale, Beckett Park, was walking her dog, Hogan, on 27 August when the pet suddenly stopped in its tracks and alerted its owner to smoke gushing from a partly closed window of a house in Woodbridge Garth.

Jill and a Woodbridge Garth neighbour, John Brayshaw, ran down the street to help but were beaten back by intense smoke and heat. Fortunately, they had awakened the householder who they were able to assist to safety through a rear window.

The brigade, having being contacted by another neighbour, was quickly on the scene and extinguished the fire.

The householder made a full recovery.

Station commander Atkins, who presented Letters of Appreciation to John, Jill and Hogan at the weekend, said their heroic intervention had helped avoid a possible tragedy.

South Yorkshire | Comm officers talk woman through rescue from house fire in Sheffield

Romsdal Road, Crookes area, Sheffield | 23 April 2012

A woman has had a lucky escape following a fire at her home on Romsdal Road in the Crookes area of Sheffield on Monday morning just before 10am.

Control room staff gave the woman fire survival guidance over the phone after she was unable to get out of the house due to the smoke.  She was asked to go into a bedroom and close the door to prevent the smoke from getting in and they kept her calm until firefighters arrived at the property.

Firefighters from Central and Rivelin arrived quickly, and discovered a microwave on fire in the kitchen.  Wearing breathing apparatus they used a hose reel to put the fire out.  Once the smoke had cleared they led the woman downstairs to safety.

The woman, thought to be in her 20s, was suffering from smoke inhalation and was taken to hospital as a pre-caution.

England | South Central Ambulance Service wins IVCA Award for ‘999 South Central’ video

Oxfordshire | 24 April 2012

A viral video entitled ‘999 South Central’ and produced by Twofour Group for South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) to highlight how misuse of the service can cost lives has won a Bronze Award in the Best Digital Communications category and been highly commended in the Best Public Relations category at the International Visual Communications Association (IVCA) Awards 2012. These were held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on 23 March.

The video has received over 63,000 views since it was launched on YouTube on 5 January 2012 in response to SCAS receiving 1,235 hoax calls and many more inappropriate calls during 2011.

The Trust’s ‘999 South Central’ campaign additionally comprises another video on YouTube expressing the crews views on ambulance misuse together with vehicle vinyl decals which are being produced for the Trust’s Rapid Response Vehicles, Double Crewed Ambulances and motorcycles. These proclaim the slogan ‘Misuse Costs Lives’ and the Trust is currently planning the phased introduction of these vehicle vinyl decals across its fleet.

The IVCA Awards are recognised as the premier marks of excellence for effective business and public sector communications in video, interactive projects, business television and digital media.

Will Hancock, SCAS’ CEO said:

‘Demand for our service has doubled in the last 10 years and continues to increase at around 10% per year. It costs around £480,000 to run an ambulance for a year and approximately £257 for an ambulance to attend an incident.

‘Please do you bit to help your local ambulance service and think before you dial 999. The emergency ambulance service exists for genuine medical emergencies and life-threatening situations only. The Trust has one ambulance per 33,000 people. Calling for an ambulance when you don’t need one can put another person’s life at risk by tying up a valuable resource that could respond to a genuine life threatening medical emergency! We hope our ‘999 South Central’ campaign will encourage everyone to use their local ambulance service responsibly.’

Winning an IVCA Award brings with it national and international recognition. There is no higher accolade for creativity, originality, production expertise and sheer effectiveness in communication.

Gill Hodgetts, SCAS’ Head of Communications & PR said:

‘Just getting short-listed for these awards is tough enough, but to actually win one is really exciting!’

The 2012 IVCA Awards attracted entries from a number of prestigious and familiar organisations including BP, British Red Cross, Barclays, Deloittes, Boehringer Ingelheim, Jaguar Land Rover, Vodafone and British Airways.

London | London Ambulance Service staff treat marathoners while colleagues tackle the race

London | 23 April 2012

Staff from across the Service tackled the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday while their colleagues on duty treated 5,103 patients. 

Of the patients treated by the Service and St John Ambulance, 57 were taken to hospital, including the 30-year-old woman who collapsed on Birdcage Walk and sadly died.

Sixteen Service runners helped to raise almost £9,000 for the Chief Executive’s new charity, the Maypole Project – an Orpington-based charity that supports children with serious illnesses and their families by offering emotional support and practical advice.

Information Management Networks Manager Mick Theobald completed the marathon in 4 hours and 45 minutes. He said: “I jumped at the opportunity to run the marathon, not realising I had only 10 weeks to train, and I had never been out running in my life!

“The marathon day itself was an emotional rollercoaster – the pre-run nerves, the excitement, the roaring crowds and seeing that finish line after the 26.2 gruelling miles. An experience I will cherish and never forget.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me – the money I raised will help the Maypole Project to provide one year of support to a child and their family.”

Paramedic Amy Laws, who is based at Pinner ambulance station, completed the marathon in memory of her crewmate’s wife who lost her battle against breast cancer.

Wimbledon Student Paramedic Patrick Wright deserves a special mention for finishing in 95th place overall by running the marathon in 2 hours and 35 minutes.

Research | Researchers study costs of ‘dirty bomb’ attack in L.A.

Los Angeles | 24 April 2012

A dirty bomb attack centered on downtown Los Angeles’ financial district could severely impact the region’s economy to the tune of nearly $16 billion, fueled primarily by psychological effects that could persist for a decade.

The study, published by a team of internationally recognized economists and decision scientists in the current issue of Risk Analysis, monetized the effects of fear and risk perception and incorporated them into a state-of-the-art macroeconomic model.

“We decided to study a terrorist attack on Los Angeles not to scare people, but to alert policymakers just how large the impact of the public’s reaction might be,” said study co-author William Burns, a research scientist at Decision Research in Eugene, Ore. “This underscores the importance of risk communication before and after a major disaster to reduce economic losses.”

Economists most often focus on the immediate economic costs of a terrorist event, such as injuries, cleanup and business closures. In this scenario, those initial costs would total just over $1 billion.

“Terrorism can have a much larger impact than first believed,” said study co-author Adam Rose, a research professor with the USC Price School of Public Policy and USC’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE). “The economic effects of the public’s change in behavior are 15 times more costly than the immediate damage in the wake of a disaster.”

“These findings illustrate that because the costs of modern disasters are so large, even small changes in public perception and behaviors may significantly affect the economic impact,” said Rose, who has published economic estimates of the 9/11 attacks, the Northridge Earthquake and other major disasters.

To estimate how fear and risk perception ripple through the economy after a major terrorist event, the researchers surveyed 625 people nationwide after showing them a mock newspaper article and newscasts about the hypothetical dirty bomb attack to gauge the public’s reticence to return to normal life in the financial district.

The study translated these survey results into estimates of what economic premiums would be put on wages and what discounts shoppers would likely require in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

After six months, 41 percent of those surveyed said they would still not consider shopping or dining in the financial district. And, on average, employees would demand a 25 percent increase in wages to return to their jobs.

“The stigma generated by dirty bomb radiation could generate large changes in the perceived risk of doing business in the region,” said co-author James Giesecke of the Centre of Policy Studies at Monash University. “However, with regional economies in competition with one another for customers, businesses, and employees, it takes only small changes in perceived risk to generate big losses in economic activity.”

The paper relied on one of 15 planning scenarios – the detonation of a dirty bomb in a city center – identified by the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to focus anti-terrorism spending nationwide.

Other authors of the study are Paul Slovic with Decision Research and the University of Oregon; Anthony Barrett of ABS Consulting in Arlington, Va.; Ergin Bayrak of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; and Michael Suher of Brown University.

This study is part of a larger special issue of the international journal Risk Analysis which showcases USC CREATE’s research on risk assessment research of terrorism events, natural disasters and their economic impacts. The special series, entitled “Risk Perception Behavior: Anticipating and Responding to Crisis,” was born from a special workshop organized by USC CREATE to explore possible avenues of research leading to insights in risk analysis and includes 11 different studies.

The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through USC CREATE and the National Science Foundation.

Rick Tobin | The Road to Ready archives

Rick Tobin’s radio show, “The Road to Ready,” which had over 50 programs, each with a different topic area for emergencies and related events, is still available in a free archive at: http://lnkd.in/sGd_jA provided by the fine folks at ESi, the home of WebEOC.

The Road to Ready internet radio show aired in 2008 and 2009.

Hosted by Rick Tobin, TAO Emergency Management, the weekly radio program focused on aiding the public, business, and government to increase their readiness for emergencies, disasters, and other interruptions.

At its closure, the Road to Ready had over 10,000 listeners each week.

IAEM awarded Rick the 1st Place Public Outreach Award for the program on November 3, 2009.

ESi, sponsor of Road to Ready during this time, is pleased to make the show archives available to the public.

New Zealand | Helicopter ambulance transports medical patient from Arapawa Island

Arapawa Island near Tory Channel | 24 April 2012

At 03:00 am this morning the Life Flight Trust responded with the Wellington-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter to a patient on Arapawa Island near Tory Channel in the Marlborough Sounds.

Life Flight responded with a Wellington Free Ambulance Paramedic on board the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. The Helicopter was able to land on a clear area a short distance from the house where the patient was.

After being assessed by the Paramedic the patient was driven to the Helicopter.

The patient a 69yr old male from Arapawa Island was flown to Wairau (Blenheim) Hospital Emergency Department where he is being further assessed and treated.

The Life Flight Trust is a charity providing air rescue and air ambulance services. It operates the Wellington based Westpac Rescue Helicopter and a national air ambulance service. It relies on support from the public and sponsorship from partners such as Westpac to provide these services.

Further information can be obtained from www.lifeflight.org.nz

New Zealand | Police dog teams vie for national honours

Senior Constable Craig Foote and police dog 'Lore' are back to defend their 2011 title

Upper Hutt | 24 April 2012

This week twelve police dog patrol teams and eleven detector dogs and handlers are competing for national honours in the National Police Dog Championships being held in Upper Hutt.

Auckland’s Senior Constable Craig Foote and police dog ‘Lore’ (pictured) are back to defend their 2011 national championship title. They will compete in the patrol dog section against teams from Nelson, Timaru, Blenheim, Hawkes Bay, Tauranga, Waikato, Whakatane, Wanganui and Wellington.

Nelson based Senior Constable Julian Lewis and ‘Saegar’ return to defend the Colin Guppy trophy for best tracking team and Senior Constable Hamish Todd and police dog ‘Cindy’ from Wellington defend their explosive dog team title. Cindy is the sole police representative up against dogs from Aviation Security and Customs.

Six narcotic detector dog teams and five explosive detector dog teams are competing for top honours. The dogs and handlers have travelled from across the country to represent their respective agency, Police, Aviation Security, Corrections or Customs.

The forecast looks fine for the week which bodes well for the dogs and handlers. Over the next few days the teams will be facing a series of challenges around, tracking, agility, obedience, searching, and detection capability.

Each of the teams starts with a set of points and they’re put through a range of realistic but testing scenarios with points deducted for mistakes. The team that loses the least marks is the winner.

The prize giving takes place at the Trentham Police Dog Training Centre, Dante Road, Trentham, at 2pm on Thursday, 26 April. Deputy Commissioner Viv Rickard will attend, along with representatives from the other agencies competing.


Victoria | Multi-Agency Specialist Appliance Display Day hailed as a success

Photos by Keith Pakenham and Blair Dellemijn, CFA Strategic Communications

Knoxfield | 22 April 2012

Knox Group’s Multi-Agency Specialist Appliance Display held at Knoxfield on Sunday 22 April was hailed as an outstanding success.

With nine emergency service agencies represented and approximately 60 appliances on display, there was something for everyone to explore and in many cases, dream of owning.

From ‘multiple rescue and medical aid units’, lighting and salvage units, to a vast array of communications and command vehicles to suit a multitude of on ground incident command situations, the display had it all.

Many a desiring eye was also cast over CFA’s Water Rescue Agency - the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard - and their very fit for purpose rescue vessel, which would also be a great way to spend a weekend out on the bay.

Practical displays of appliances and equipment filled the day and the arrival of Firebird 302 was a particular highlight for those in attendance.

The MFESB’s new Breathing Apparatus (BA) Van was also a shining example of what can be achieved with clear thinking and strong sense of purpose and would be a standout in any fire agency throughout the world.

The event certainly achieved its main aim of providing a unique opportunity for emergency services personnel and their families to familiarise themselves with the myriad of resources available for response to incidents, and hundreds of personnel took advantage of the fine weather that bathed the display site after an early rain scare caused some concern.

The co-operation between all agencies on the day was outstanding and the attendance of Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley, CFA Deputy Chief Officer Gregg Patterson and MFESB Deputy Chief Officer’s David Youssef and Lou Mele certainly showed there is strong interest in and support for this type of initiative.

Based on the outstanding success of this year’s display, planning is already underway for the next Knox Multi-Agency Specialist Appliance Display scheduled for April 2014.

Photos by Keith Pakenham and Blair Dellemijn, CFA Strategic Communications


Photos by Keith Pakenham and Blair Dellemijn, CFA Strategic Communications


Photos by Keith Pakenham and Blair Dellemijn, CFA Strategic Communications


Photos by Keith Pakenham and Blair Dellemijn, CFA Strategic Communications
Photos by Keith Pakenham and Blair Dellemijn, CFA Strategic Communications
Photos by Keith Pakenham and Blair Dellemijn, CFA Strategic Communications

Victoria | Road rescue skills on show in Tasmania

South Barwon, Victoria | 24 April 2012

Members of the Victoria State Emergency Service’s (SES) South Barwon Unit are heading to Tasmania this weekend to compete in the 2012 Australasian Road Rescue Challenge.

Twenty-two teams will pit their skills against each other in the challenge, which aims to display best practice in the field of road rescue.

The South Barwon SES unit are worthy contenders, having responded to almost 100 road rescue incidents in the last 12 months.

The team competed in the challenge for the first time last year. Team Manager Scott Clark said that had been a valuable learning experience.

“We placed seventh in the controlled category then. We’re hoping to do even better this year,” he said. “We’ve been in training for four months. It’s been a massive commitment with a lot of training, but we’ve had a lot of support at State level and we’re looking forward to getting there.”

Teams will compete in three practical exercises, each involving a mock road crash rescue situation.

In the entrapped exercise, SES volunteers will extricate a dummy from a car that has been dropped from a crane to simulate a crash. In the controlled event, a live person will act as a victim within a car with a dummy also trapped underneath, forcing teams to allocate resources smartly to save both.

In the Immediate scenario, volunteers have only 20 minutes to rescue a live person from a simulated crash in which they have sustained a life-threatening injury.

Mr Clark said it was a test of a broad range of skills.

“The entrapped exercise, because you’re only dealing with a dummy, they can really crash it properly. Unfortunately, that’s a really good impression of what we are dealing with in real life.”

The South Barwon team will also attend a learning symposium on the latest technology and techniques in the field.

“Last year we came home and ran a workshop to share our learnings with nearby units, so it’s good for everyone.”