The region’s ambulance service is urging people to not leave staff in the dark this winter.
Every minute counts in a life-threatening emergency and friends and family may feel helpless when a loved one is suffering. However, there are simple steps people can take to help ambulance staff and community first responders to find them in the dark.
This is particularly important as the number of daylight hours reduces ahead of the shortest day next month.
The latest advice from the East of England Ambulance Service are seven simple and quick things you could do to help:
. Your house does not have to be lit up like Santa’s grotto. However, please turn on an outside light and ensure your house name or number is clearly visible from the road
. Make sure that there are no trees, bushes or other foliage obstructing signage
. Ensure your number stands out – black on white or vice versa is best
. Switch on hazard lights on a car parked in the drive or on the road
. Mention any local landmarks or buildings you’re near when making a call
. Is there someone with you who could go outside to flag down the emergency services?
. Take the ‘have it handy’ approach today: look up your home’s map grid reference in case of emergency
Matt Broad, a locality director for the service, said: “If you go down any residential street in the East of England, some properties will have numbers on the gate or door and others will have nothing at all.
“Our crews find it really helpful if an outdoor light is switched on or the hazard warning lights of a car in the drive or road. These simple steps can help reduce the time it takes for our staff to get to a patient that needs our help.”
The ambulance service has launched ‘Wise Up For Winter’ which will cover themes such as the most common reasons people call in winter, a day in the life of patient care, and how people can keep safe and well.
People can access advice at www.eastamb.nhs.uk and can help spread the vital health messages with friends and family who may not be online.