The Co-Responder team at RAF Honington has received 2 Double Staffed Ambulances (DSA) on Station in order that they can assist the East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST). Following an intensive clinical upskills course, designed to bolster their existing skills, 6 members of the Station Co-Response team are now working directly in support of the NHS.
Co-Response Team Leader WO Karl Phillips said:
“The training provided by professional clinical trainers from EEAST was superb. These people worked exceptionally hard to ensure we received the very best theoretical and practical training available in order to properly prepare us for the task. This was further enhanced by COVID19-specific training, including PPE, hospital handover procedures and emergency transfer protocols.”
The Station team now boasts a broad range of experience from RAF Police personnel that are blue-light rapid response vehicle (RRV) driver qualified, to Physical Trainers and Military Transport Drivers. Two of the team members have also recently completed additional advanced driver training to qualify them to drive the front-line DSA from RAF Honington.
WO Phillips joined the scheme in 2003 and as an experienced clinician and RRV / DSA response driver, Karl has amassed thousands of hours of volunteering and responding to 999 calls. He joined the RAF Honington Co-response team in 2016 and has been the team leader since 2018. He said:
“I am extremely proud of my team and we, collectively, are equally as proud to operate alongside EEAST in assisting the NHS in the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, I am appreciative of my team’s line managers for supporting their respective troops whilst they undertake this role; however, most importantly, I would like to thank the families of our responders. Their support for their loved ones is deeply appreciated and is vital to the continued effort.”
Ex-RAF Regiment Flight Sergeant (retd) Marty Park is the most experienced and longest serving member of the team. As a founder member, Marty has served continuously as a co-responder since 2002 and has volunteered many thousands of hours during this time.
RAF Honington Station Commander, Group Captain Matt Radnall said:
“I’m delighted that personnel from RAF Honington are able to provide direct support to the NHS ambulance service in our region. Our personnel are being used to man double-staffed ambulances operating on a 12-hour shift rota. At just two days into the first week, the Honington team have already attended a number of Cat-1 (life-threatening) emergency calls along with several Cat-2 & Cat-3 calls, including an urgent patient transfer. I know they are well trained and very much looking forward to playing their part in this incredibly important role.”