Northants Emergency Services Volunteers support frontline Covid-19 response

Volunteers have been driving ambulances and delivering PPE

By Phoebe Radford
Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 7:00 am

Northamptonshire's Emergency Services Volunteers (NESV) have given more than 1,000 hours of their time to support frontline efforts in the response to coronavirus.

A team of about 50 volunteers have been stocking ambulances with PPE and driving ambulances for essential trips, like to garage facilities in Nottinghamshire or bringing vehicles back to Northants when they are needed.

Lee Brentnall, ambulance operations manager at EMAS, said: "We have one fixed rota of people committing one or two days, working six to eight hours, over a five day period.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Some of the volunteers that have been supporting Northamptonshire's emergency services during the pandemic

"These volunteers have been going over and above in their efforts to support where it is needed. They are working really hard and nothing seems to be a problem for them.

"One of our key priorities is our staff safety and welfare, providing the right PPE, and it is our priority to keep our workforce safe. I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the support of volunteers in what has been a national crisis."

The NESV programme was set up around a year ago as a joint venture between Northants Fire and Rescue Service and East Midlands Ambulance Service.

It recruits volunteers to support the emergency services by helping free up time for staff to focus on their main roles. This has never been more important than now, during the pandemic, when the emergency services have been on the frontline of the response.

Northants Fire and Rescue Service group commander Warren Ellison said: "We have been so impressed by the enthusiasm shown by our volunteers to really get involved and supply help where it is most needed, such as in the delivery of PPE and making some welfare calls on behalf of Northamptonshire County Council.

"This pandemic has really proven the worth of volunteers who have been willing to give up their own time and support those at the frontline in this unprecedented challenge we all find ourselves in."

Lee Brentnall added: "The value they have added to our organisation has been outstanding."

To find out more about how to volunteer, visit this website.