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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Ambulance service issues November 5 care warning

THE Welsh Ambulance Service is urging people to take extra care on Bonfire Night.

During the last three years the Trust has witnessed a steady increase in the number of calls it receives on November 5.

In 2013 there were 1,079 verified incidents, which increased to 1,116 in 2014 and was up even further to 1,239 last year.

Every year, the service is called to deal with firework and bonfire-related injuries through improper handling of fireworks and people taking unnecessary risks.

The Trust is asking revellers to keep a sensible head during this year’s celebrations.

Richard Lee, the Trust’s Director of Operations, said: “We want everyone to have an enjoyable Bonfire Night, but we would ask you to remember the very real dangers that bonfires, fireworks and even sparklers can pose.

“If they are used in the wrong way then the consequences could be potentially fatal due to the extreme level of heat given off and the high speeds at which fireworks can travel.

“Every year our colleagues treat people both young and old for injuries as a result of firework displays, ranging from minor burns to those which could have a very real life changing impact.

“By following some simple safety tips you can help to reduce the number of calls we receive regarding Bonfire Night related injuries, making our crews available to help other members of the community facing life-threatening emergencies.”

People hosting their own event are reminded that fireworks should be kept in a closed box and used one at a time to avoid any accidents.

Follow the instructions on each firework, using a torch if necessary, and light at arm’s length wearing goggles and protective clothing. Never return to a firework once it has been lit.

Children should wear gloves with sparklers, and never wave it near someone’s face. When the sparkler has finished, put it into a bucket of cold water straight away and leave it there.

In the event of an accident with fireworks or fires, here are some useful points you should follow:

·        Extinguish any flames if the casualty is alight
·        If alight, drop to the floor and roll to extinguish flames, keeping mouth and eyes closed
·        If you see someone else on fire, tell them to ‘Stop, drop and roll’
·        Use cool water (ideally cold running water) to cool the burnt area and reduce the pain
·        Do not remove any burnt clothing which has stuck to the skin
·        Do not use any creams or oils on burn injuries
·        Seek urgent medical help by calling 999 for life threatening or serious injuries, for minor injuries contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.

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