Coronavirus: Norfolk-Based Soldiers Supporting Ambulance Service

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust Train Troops At Wattisham Flying Station, Suffolk.

Soldiers from Norfolk-based 1st The Queen's Dragoons Guards have completed a three-day training course to prepare them for driving ambulances involved in the transfer of critically-ill patients between hospitals.

Sixty troops are supporting the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) during the coronavirus pandemic.

The aim of a three day course delivered by EEAST, at Wattisham Flying Station, Suffolk, was to get the soldiers familiarised with the ambulances they will be driving.

The Army has said soldiers will not be travelling to blue light emergencies or delivering any medical treatment.

The troops are providing patient transport services across the East of England, with a critical care team accompanying patients at all times - including a doctor and nurse.

The use of military personnel should release EEAST staff to continue their frontline duties.

1st The Queens Welsh Dragoons Guards join fight against coronavirus
1st Queen's Dragoon Guards will help transport patients across the East of England (Credit: MOD).

21-year-old Trooper Jake Tredgett, said, having only joined the Regiment "about a month ago", he was “really pleased to be involved.”

“I'm just keen to get on, get out there and do my bit. I grew up in Norwich and Norfolk is my home, so I'm really proud to play my part and help my local community," he said. 

Marcus Bailey, Chief Operating Officer with EEAST, said they are “very grateful to the British Army for their support.”

“COVID-19 represents an unprecedented challenge for all of us and we truly appreciate the fantastic support we have received from the military, fire service, the public, businesses and our other partners,” he said.

The military have been assisting in the fight the coronavirus pandemic in numerous ways across the UK, including the construction of NHS Nightingale hospitals and supporting ambulance services across the country.

Cover image: MOD.