THE Farmers’ Union of Wales will be on hand to give out Ordnance Survey (OS) grid references to Royal Welsh show visitors next week in an exercise that could mean the difference between life and death.

In a joint venture with Wales Air Ambulance, the FUW has produced cards with space for information such as a person’s home postcode and OS grid reference. The card can then be kept near the telephone at the home address to be used in an emergency.

Due to Wales’ scattered population and diverse landscape, many in Wales live in isolated locations far from an accident and emergency service and air ambulances can sometimes reach casualties far quicker than any other response team on the ground.

It is widely believed that a patient’s chances of survival and early recovery are increased if they receive the right care within the first hour, otherwise known as the Golden Hour.

The quick response times and the expert medical care provided by the Wales Air Ambulance crews across Wales ensure that this Golden Hour is achieved every time.

Issuing the cards was the brainchild of the FUW’s Caernarfonshire area officer Dafydd Jones, who lives in the remote village of Ysbyty Ifan, near Betws y Coed.

Following a talk with Tomos Hughes, of the Uwchaled first response team, the FUW printed the cards with the logo: " Ble Ydych Chi - Where are You" with a blank space to fill the post code and the Ordnance Survey grid reference.

Mr Jones said: "As people living in the countryside, especially in a remote part of Wales, we recognise the importance of the Air Ambulance service and also the region’s police helicopter service. They have become a major part of the emergency services’ response team.

"By now we all know of someone who has been in an unfortunate situation needing the service of the Air Ambulance, and if it wasn’t for their quick response and the shortening of travelling time some of those people would not be here today.

"Indeed, the fast response of these services can be the difference between life and death."

A Wales Air Ambulance spokesman said: "Wales Air Ambulance helps to save time, and save lives. You can help too by knowing your grid reference.

"Time really matters in an emergency and Wales Air Ambulance can reach any part of the country within 20 minutes. The grid reference initiative from the FUW will also raise awareness of the work our air ambulance crews do in remote farming areas."