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Kent St John Ambulance volunteers stand up to the Beast from the East

Kent St John Ambulance volunteers stand up to the Beast from the East

St John Ambulance volunteers from Kent have been thanked for providing round the clock transport for nurses in the Medway area, during the extreme weather which gripped swathes of the country last week.


The charity deployed crews in 4x4s, equipped to cope with the snow, to support vital services provided by Medway Community Healthcare (MCH).


Palliative care nurses, community nurses (visiting patients in their own homes), and dental nurses, were taken to and from work or to patients’ houses, to enable the MCH to continue their much-needed work throughout the bad weather.


Over four days, the St John Ambulance volunteers gave around 80 hours of their time to support their local community, travelling to various locations including Rochester, the Isle of Sheppey, Gillingham, Chatham, Larkfield, and Maidstone.


Penny Smith, director of business development for MCH, said: ‘We would really like to say a huge thank you to St John Ambulance and their volunteers for all the support over this challenging period. It has been so reassuring for our staff to know they could get to and from work safely, and to be able to keep the units opens for our terminally ill clients. Without the support of St John Ambulance this would not have been possible.’


The Kent volunteers were among dozens of St John Ambulance crews across England who provided support to the emergency services in extraordinary circumstances.


Their voluntary efforts have included transporting NHS staff to work, taking patients home from hospital, and providing first aiders at emergency rest centres for stranded motorists.


St John Ambulance’s Chief Executive, Martin Houghton-Brown, has paid tribute to their hard work and dedication: ‘Despite the snow, wind and ice, plus the freezing temperatures that come with it, our volunteers stepped up to help our communities.


‘Along with employees they have responded to the challenges with professionalism and have shown a real dedication to provide first aid and care where it is needed.


‘None of this would be possible without our amazing volunteers; our thanks go to each and every one of them for their commitment, passion and the pride they take in what they do.’


St John Ambulance activity in England during the extreme weather included:

South West: A volunteer-crewed 4x4 supporting SWASFT with 999 calls in the Salisbury area. Further 4x4 vehicles taking NHS staff to work in Devon. Patient transport support in Cornwall and Bristol.

South East: Volunteers in 4x4 vehicles assisted with the critical incident declared on the A31 in the New Forest, and first aiders deployed to the rest centre. Further crews supported the NHS in Sussex and Hampshire.

West Midlands: Six volunteer ambulance crews deployed to support WMAS.

East Midlands: Five crews in 4x4 vehicles supporting EMAS. Two Land Rovers in Market Harborough, supporting the Community Health team, transporting GPs and nurses.

North West: Three crews out in 4x4 vehicles in East Lancashire and Cumbria, supporting NWAS.


St John Ambulance is currently recruiting first aider volunteers in Kent. For more information go to http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/volunteer/the-role-for-you/volunteer-vacancies---new/vacancy-details.aspx?Id=69775


For more information on St John Ambulance, including how to make a donation, other volunteering opportunities, and details of training for the public, schools and businesses, visit www.sja.org.ukor call 08700 10 49 50.