March 7, 2018
Ambulance crews up and down the country braved the winter weather and worked double shifts to keep patients safe during last week’s ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma. Many travelled for hours just to get to work and stayed well past the end of their shifts to ensure patients stayed safe while the country was gripped with heavy snowfall.
Crews were digging ambulances out of deep snow, pushing vehicles when they got stuck and even walked to patients if they couldn’t drive to the address. Many NHS workers even stayed to work extra hours to try and relieve the pressures faced by accident and emergency departments.
“From colleagues out on the road and those in our control centres to the teams that support them, their hard work is very much appreciated.”
Ambulance Trust Pressure
With the adverse weather gripping the entire country, every ambulance trust saw an increase in calls and the need for emergency care rising. Trusts reached critical levels of demand which meant there were significant wait times for ambulances.
In a bid to tackle this members of the public with 4×4 vehicles volunteered to ferry staff back and forth to hospitals. Volunteers from St John Ambulance and Mountain Rescue teams also lent a hand with their vehicles joining ambulances responding to 999 calls in parts of the country.
Rob Adam, duty locality officer for central Norfolk with the East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST), said crews had been “amazing” and “done EEAST proud”.
He commented: “It’s nice to see they all pulled together. We’ve had our community first responders who have continued to work for us and in some cases they walked to patients. I’m proud – that’s the word I would use. They were legends in that respect and it made me proud to put on that uniform and represent who we are because they’ve gone above and beyond. I couldn’t have asked for anymore.”
East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) Chief Executive, Richard Henderson, also added: “I thank all our staff and volunteers for their continued commitment to our patients.
“From colleagues out on the road and those in our control centres to the teams that support them, their hard work is very much appreciated by not only the EMAS Trust Board, but those in the communities that we care for; as is shown by the messages of praise we receive from many of them on our social media accounts.”’