HM Coastguard supports the Scottish Ambulance Service with mutual aid work

Her Majesty's Coastguard has completed a programme of mutual aid support work, helping the Scottish Ambulance Service with trained drivers, as an extension to work done in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Between Wednesday 21st October and Saturday 24th October, coastguard drivers assisted the ambulance service to crew their vehicles as part of support to the Scottish Ambulance Service's resilience plans. These double-crewed ambulances had one Coastguard (driving) and One Ambulance Service clinician to maintain essential cover in the Isle of Harris, Western Isles in Scotland.

This valuable work, which included helping the ambulance service with both planned patient transfers and emergency calls follows the extensive mutual aid training which was completed by HM Coastguard and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service personnel over the course of this past summer (July and August), to support the Scottish Ambulance Service.

From safe moving and handling techniques of patients and equipment transfers to infection control and Personal Protective Equipment guidance, coastguard staff learnt a whole new range of new skills. On top of that, safety-focused ambulance driving lessons were also carried out.

Murdo Macaulay, HM Coastguard Operations Area Commander for the Western Isles, Skye and Lochaber, said: “We are proud to have supported and assisted a fellow category one emergency service partner, the Scottish Ambulance Service, through an important period of continued work to build on preparations made during the coronavirus crisis.

“It is really imperative that we come together and work to support our local communities during these challenging times.”

He added: “Our Coastguard Rescue Officers who have been involved in the mutual aid support with the Scottish Ambulance Service have benefitted hugely from new training experiences and have relished the opportunity to build their skills bases while benefitting their communities.”

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