Royal Logistic Corp starts to drive ambulances in Wales from today
The Armed Forces will begin to support the Welsh Ambulance Service from today.
Fifty troops from 4 Regiment Royal Logistic Corp will drive ambulances across Wales from today having undergone training at Newport’s Raglan Barracks on the weekend.
They will be joined in the next week by a further 50 personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.
A 29-strong team of supporting personnel will make a total of 129 soldiers, sailors and airmen supporting the Trust until the end of November.
Lee Brooks, the Trust’s Director of Operations, said: “We’re proud and grateful to have the military working alongside us once again, who did a superb job of assisting us on two occasions previously last year.
“Having our Armed Forces colleagues back on board will help us put more ambulances on duty so we can get to more patients, more quickly, while the extreme pressure continues.
“Essentially, they’ll work with one of our clinicians on an emergency ambulance responding to the full range of emergency calls.
“The winter period is our busiest time, and having military support will bolster our capacity and put us in the best possible position to provide a safe service to the people of Wales.”
Major Alex Wilson, Officer Commanding 60 Close Support Squadron, Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment, 4 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, said: “Over the weekend we spent time training with the paramedics and emergency medical technicians to familiarise ourselves with the ambulances, equipment and processes to make sure we can assist in the best way we can.
“The soldiers are ready to begin the task we have been deployed to do in Wales.
“It’s a privilege to be working with our Welsh Ambulance Service colleagues in supporting the NHS in Wales to ease the pressures that currently exist.”
It is the third time that the military have supported the service through the pandemic as part of the Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) arrangement.
More than 200 British Army soldiers have already assisted the Trust’s Covid-19 effort by driving and decontaminating ambulance vehicles as part of Operation Rescript.
Among them were 90 soldiers from 9 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, who were enlisted on Christmas Eve at the height of the second wave of the pandemic.
More broadly, more than 20,000 military personnel have been supporting public services across the UK during the pandemic as part of a ‘COVID Support Force.’
Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, “proactively” wrote to Eluned Morgan on 13th September offering similar help to Wales as in parts of England that had seen Armed Forces personnel to assist ambulance services – with a spokesperson telling us last month “the UK government is supportive of the Welsh Ambulance Service’s request, alongside the Welsh Government” – the outcome of which is presumably seen today.
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