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Trust thanks voluntary sector for support

Press release - 12 January 2010

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAmb) has praised the dedication and support of the voluntary sector, the public and staff during the recent outbreak of severe weather.

The Trust, which has stood down from the major incident declared on Wednesday, 6 January, due to the heavy snow that fell across the region last week, was very grateful for the support it received from St John Ambulance Service, the British Red Cross, community first responders and 4x4 vehicle owners.

The St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross provided the Trust with 4x4 vehicles, ambulances, officer support and ferried some staff to and from work to ensure maximum cover across the region.   

Many 4x4 vehicle owners offered their support and provided their vehicles to get staff to and from work and some staff were remaining on station, some for many days, to ensure they were able to carry out their shifts.

SECAmb’s Director of Operations, Sue Harris said: “We would like to thank every voluntary agency and any member of the public who provided assistance.  We are extremely grateful for their support and dedication throughout this difficult time. We would also like to say a big thank you to all of our staff who did and are still doing a tremendous job under very difficult circumstances.

“The public can continue to help us by only calling 999 in the event of a serious emergency – we don’t want to dissuade anyone from calling for our help if they genuinely need it but, if some

one’s call is less urgent we would ask people to consider whether they could get support and advice from other NHS providers such as calling NHS Direct  on 0845 4647 or visiting a local NHS walk in centre.”

Between 7am and 9am on Wednesday, 6 January, SECAmb saw a 37 per cent increase in calls on previous day and 20 per cent increase in incidents.

The control centre at Banstead, saw calls up by 50 per cent and incidents by 31 per cent; in Lewes control centre, calls were up by 51per cent and incidents by19 per cent; and at the control centre in Coxheath, calls were up by 16 per cent and incidents by 15 per cent.

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