Phil Heaviside, a past master of Lodge of Progress saw an appeal for volunteer ambulance drivers on the Lodge Facebook page. The sister of one of the members works for NE Ambulance service and had asked him to share it. Phil’s past work history and driving experience, prompted him contact the service and volunteer straight away.
Due to the weight of the ambulance stock, a category ‘C1’ on a clean drivers license is required. Phil already has this on his driving license, so that was the first hurdle past. He had to go through a half day driver assessment. Then followed a drive out with an examiner to check the standard of his driving. He also required some training on the GPS / communication system and hydraulic lift. The required paperwork was then submitted for an enhanced DBS and also a driver medical at the occupational health section for eyesight and blood pressure etc.
The last step was a two day training course. This covered Confidentiality, Safeguarding and Correct use of PPE including face mask seal testing. There was also a full day of moving patients and securing wheelchairs in ambulances. He was finally signed off and ready to start helping out and is at present waiting for his first placement. The only downside is that he will probably have to stop delivering meals on wheels to the elderly and self isolating residents in his village.
The ambulance service have done a great job so far. Following the appeal, they have had 2000 volunteer ambulance drivers and in a month. They have designed and implemented a training course for the first group of 200 volunteers.
If you want to join the volunteer ambulance drivers, you can go here for more information.