Ambulance service for Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire receives staffing boost as new recruits join EEAST’s bank
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Blue light colleagues who joined the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) to drive emergency vehicles during the height of the coronavirus pandemic have returned to the trust to fulfil brand new positions on its bank.
Around 105 individuals have signed up as non-clinical emergency drivers, in turn freeing up EEAST’s clinical staff to focus on delivering life-saving care.
The group is made up of firefighters from across the region who are already trained to drive on blue lights.
They also have experience of working alongside EEAST crews after providing more than 41,500 hours of voluntary support during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The recruits have received additional training to help them fulfil the new role, including basic life support, using a defibrillator and supporting crews with intubation.
A total of 80 new staff joined the bank over the August bank holiday weekend, with the remainder due to follow during the rest of September.
They will be called in to cover during periods of sickness or staff shortages to help EEAST maintain high standards of patient safety and care, in turn providing extra flexibility into the winter when demand for NHS services traditionally increases.
The staff are able to fulfil bank shifts outside of their commitments to the fire and rescue service.
He said: “We are delighted that we have been able to welcome these new recruits to our bank.
“They will provide us with an all-important extra resource as we head into the winter, giving us more flexibility in our workforce when demand is expected to rise.”