110 Defence personnel will deploy to support the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) from 14th October, working as non-emergency drivers. The task is expected to last until the end of November.
The support from the UK Government is being provided through a Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) request. The task will help to ease pressures resulting from the pandemic and ensure the ambulance trust can continue to provide their essential service, attending life-threatening calls quickly.
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.
Personnel deploying across Wales and are from across the three services.
Welcoming the deployment Aberconwy MP Robin Millar said “Over the last 19 months the pandemic has presented a challenge to our brave and dedicated Welsh Ambulance Service crews like no other. They are owed an immense debt of gratitude and I commend them for their invaluable contribution in our struggle against Covid-19 and for all that they do.”
Continuing, Robin said “the last couple of months in particular have meant significant and sustained pressures on our ambulance service and, for too many people, this has unfortunately resulted in unacceptably long waits for ambulances to arrive. At a time when people have been their most vulnerable and frightened, it is heart rending for my staff and I to hear the stories from families of constituents relating to how their loved ones were lying on cold floors unable to move or that a partner had been in pain, and they were unable to help.
“My constituents need to know when they call for help that someone will come and come quickly. I welcome this UK Government support for our ambulance crews. This deployment demonstrates the training, flexibility and adaptability of our UK Armed Forces and I know that their presence over the next two months will help to save lives across Wales.”