RAF Music Services News

Trumpeter to Ambulance Driver!

Corporal driving an ambulance.
Corporal Bennett deployed to assist the NHS as an ambulance driver.

Corporal Steve Bennett has been awarded the 160th (Welsh) Brigade Coin for his effort and commitment to the Service during is deployment as an ambulance driver.

Usually a Trumpeter in the Band of the Royal Air Force College, Corporal Bennett was deployed in November 2021 to assist the NHS.  As well as driving ambulances, he has been working alongside Paramedics providing lifesaving treatment such as CPR.

"Based in Llandudno, North Wales, I am second in command of our detachment which is a mixture of Gurkha Rifles, Royal Logistics Corps, Royal Navy and RAF Personnel.  My shifts are all 12hrs long; 2-day shifts followed by 2-night shifts. 

During training, we were told that we would drive the ambulance while ‘off blue lights’ and assist the paramedic when needed. In our opinion, the driving part is not our main role. We only drive when taking people to hospital who are not critical. While being deployed here, I have learned how to:

  • Perform CPR 
  • Dress wounds 
  • Give air/Entonox and nebuliser 
  • Lift people safely 
  • Assist the Paramedic whilst the patient is receiving treatment 
  • Restock the Ambulance before and after shift 
  • Give observations and understand the results (blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, temperature and glucose level) 

I never thought I would be able to perform CPR, but I have done it several times now. You can go from that, to just holding the hand of an elderly person who is scared by being in hospital and chatting with patients who at times will pour out their hearts to you.

Every day is different, nothing is certain, and you adapt, accept it and face whatever the day throws at you in the knowledge that even if you don’t realise it, you are making a difference to someone else."

Corporal Bennett
RAF Musician

Nine RAF Musicians deployed on Operation RESCRIPT from the start of 2022, supporting the NHS in the battle against COVID-19.  Taskings include general support to the NHS, with two members of RAF Music assisting hospital staff in the West Midlands.  Five Musicians were deployed as vaccinators (two in England, three in Scotland).  In total, these Musicians have administered over 6,000 vaccinations to members of the public.

Corporal inside an ambulance.
Corporal Bennett restocking the Ambulance following a shift.

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