110 Defence personnel will deploy to support the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust (WAST) from 14th October, working as non-emergency drivers. The task is expected to last until the end of November.
The support from the UK Government is being provided through a Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) request. The task will help to ease pressures resulting from the pandemic and ensure the ambulance trust can continue to provide their essential service, including attending life-threatening calls quickly.
Defence personnel will augment the ambulance service with non-emergency drivers who will not operate under blue light conditions. They will attend lower priority calls to help to free up WAST resources for emergency calls where there is an immediate risk to life, such as cardiac arrests.
Personnel are deploying to regions across Wales and are from across the three services.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said:
Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service Jason Killens said:
In addition to drivers, Defence will provide three personnel to support planning at NHS Wales. This is the third deployment of the Armed Forces to support WAST since the pandemic began in March 2020. 68 personnel deployed in April 2020 and 120 personnel augmented dedicated Welsh Ambulance Service staff in December 2020, including Defence medics.
Defence also supported the vaccine rollout in Wales earlier this year and previously deployed during the pandemic to provide specialist planning advice, deliver PPE and support the community testing programme in Merthyr Tydfil.