Volunteers help emergency services deliver in the West Midlands

Heavy snow has led to school closures, people working from home and events being cancelled across the West Midlands. More vitally, hospitals are facing pressure as staff are unable to get to work and get to patients.

Across the West Midlands, hospital’s continuity plans are being tested to ensure that the most at need do not suffer the freezing conditions. At Birmingham Children’s Hospital, staff have been given overnight accommodation on nights when it was unsure if they would be able to get home or get back to work in heavy snow.

James Shanahan, head of emergency planning at the hospital said that some patients had been unable to attend appointments because of the weather, but on the whole it had been “business as usual”.

But how are the emergency services coping with the treturous weather? To help out the ambulances, there is an army of 20 volunteers who offer their 4×4 vehicles and driving skills to help those otherwise stranded across the region.

Simon Brothwood, chairman of the West Midlands 4×4 Response said:

“The snow’s been bad – much, much worse than last year – across the whole of the West Midlands. We’ve helped all sorts of people – we were told that by helping district nurses get around in Birmingham, we’d helped save at least 30 to 50 ambulance trips.”

With the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events set to continue, climate adaptation will become an increasingly important aspect of business continuity plans.

Source: BBC News