Our vision at KSS is an end to preventable loss of life from medical emergency, and you play a vital role in making this vision a reality.
A brief look at the news is all it takes to remind us that we live in an extremely unpredictable world. This isn’t just the case on a national level; it applies to us as individuals, in every action we commit, in every day that we live. None of us know what lies ahead and sadly, medical emergencies happen every day.
It’s why KSS has spent the last 32 years dedicated to saving lives and providing the very best pre-hospital care. When we arrive on scene, our patients need us to be at our very best, which is why we continuously innovate and strive to improve our treatments and technology.
I believe, however, that we can do even more for the communities we serve. I believe in a world where there is an end to preventable loss of life from medical emergency. A world where loved ones stay together for longer. At the start of the lockdown in 2020 we saw a huge reduction in the number of road traffic collisions we were called to, which was to be expected given that we were suddenly no longer moving around in our usual ways. Road traffic collisions are on average the most common type of incident that we are called to and last month alone our dedicated crews attended 70 such incidents. I don’t believe we need a national lockdown to reduce these numbers.
Instead we must educate our communities that the loss of life in relation to medical emergencies is preventable. We must inspire people and work with our partners to raise awareness and show how this vision is tangible. Over the next few weeks we will be collaborating with like-minded organisations to support three important awareness campaigns which focus on just that.
Wednesday 13th October will see us partner with the Children’s Burns Trust, West Sussex Fire and Rescue, Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and colleagues at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for National Burn Awareness Day. Together we have created a resource pack for parents and professionals to raise awareness of fire hazards within the home, what to do if a fire does start, first aid if a loved one suffers from a burn and more.
A shocking number of people suffer burns every day, and the vast majority of these are preventable, from hot drink scalds happening to young children to those injured by fireworks each Bonfire Night.
Restart a Heart Day takes place within the same week and we were delighted to support this campaign last year to help raise awareness of the importance of CPR. We will work in partnership with the Resus Council once more to show how – although in light of COVID-19, the steps you should take when performing CPR have changed – the need to perform CPR can still be the difference between life and death.
We helped Graham Martin when he suffered a cardiac arrest during a visit to the gym. Graham was fortunate that all the links in the `chain of survival’ were in place; gym staff called 999 and, crucially, commenced CPR. They used a defibrillator to shock his heart back into a normal rhythm. Our crew then arrived and provided advanced care before taking him to hospital.
We want to see more people like Graham surviving out of hospital cardiac arrests thanks to greater awareness of CPR and improved availability of defibrillators.
By learning CPR any one of us could be the difference between life and death for someone we know; a loved one, a colleague, a friend, or a stranger on the street.
Road Safety Week takes place between 15th and 21st November and is a reminder of the terrible death toll on our roads – there were 1,472 fatalities on the UK’s roads in 2020 – and how each of us help reduce this.
This year the theme of Road Safety Week is Road Safety Heroes, celebrating the work of road safety professionals, and highlighting how we can all help make the roads safer for everyone.
I urge you to please put these dates in your calendar and visit our social media accounts or those of our partners to see how you can learn vital skills to see an end to preventable loss of medical emergency. Let’s make it our collective vision and do all we can to make it a reality, for the sake of our families, friends and communities. Thank you.