Posted: Thu 7th Oct 2021

Over 100 armed forces personnel will deploy to support the Welsh Ambulance Service from next week

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 7th, 2021

Armed forces personnel will deploy to support the Welsh Ambulance Service from next week the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

The Welsh Ambulance Service Trust submitted a request for additional support under the Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) arrangement.

110 defence personnel will now deploy to support the Welsh Ambulance Service from 14th October, working as non-emergency drivers.

They will help to ease pressures resulting from the pandemic and ensure the ambulance trust can continue to provide their essential service, including attending life-threatening calls quickly.

An MoD spokesperson said: “Defence personnel will augment the ambulance service with non-emergency drivers who will not operate under blue light conditions.”

“They will attend lower priority calls to help to free up WAST resources for emergency calls where there is an immediate risk to life, such as cardiac arrests.”

The deployment of armed forces personnel is expected to last until the end of November.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “I am proud of the tireless work of all our service personnel during this pandemic.”

“They continue to provide important support, working alongside our dedicated emergency services across the UK.”

“The deployment of 110 personnel to support the ambulance service will ensure WAST can continue to deliver their life-saving services.”

Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service Jason Killens said: “We’re proud and grateful to be working alongside the military once again, who did a superb job of assisting us on two occasions previously last year.”

“The pandemic has presented a challenge like no other, but the last couple of months in particular have meant significant and sustained pressures on our ambulance service, including high levels of demand and an increase in Covid-19 related activity.”

“Winter is our busiest time, and having military colleagues on board once more will bolster our capacity and put us in the best possible position to provide a safe service to the people of Wales.”

In addition to drivers, Defence will provide 3 personnel to support planning at NHS Wales.

This is the third deployment of the Armed Forces to support WAST since the pandemic began in March 2020. 68 personnel deployed in April 2020 and 120 personnel augmented dedicated Welsh Ambulance Service staff in December 2020, including Defence medics.

Defence also supported the vaccine rollout in Wales earlier this year and previously deployed during the pandemic to provide specialist planning advice, deliver PPE and support the community testing programme in Merthyr Tydfil.

 

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