in Defence / Security

RAF Odiham personnel volunteer as SCAS co-responders

Posted 18 May 2020 · Add Comment

RAF Odiham personnel are providing vital support to the NHS on the frontline of the Coronavirus pandemic by volunteering their spare time as co-responders for the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS).

Image courtesy RAF

The co-responder team consists of approximately 20 personnel from RAF Odiham. All are medically trained through SCAS to provide vital frontline support to the NHS through attending 999 calls. A variety of calls have been attended by the team, including positive Coronavirus cases.

RAF Odiham’s co-responders Corporal Chelsea Arnold and Sergeant Richard McCarthy are full time Chinook Engineers who volunteer their time to support the community between operational tours and in addition to their demanding roles in the Royal Air Force. The co-responder team have a variety of roles in the RAF including logisticians, survival equipment experts and aircrew.

Many of the team are currently deployed as part of Operation Rescript which is UK Defence’s support to the UK’s fight against Coronavirus.

The team use two marked cars which enable them to respond to urgent calls under emergency blue-light conditions. Once allocated to calls, the co-responder team are often the first people on the scene where they may be involved with everything from gathering medical history through to performing CPR prior to receiving back up from paramedics.

Chief Technician Phil Hunter, a Chinook Engineer and co-responder said: “It’s an extremely rewarding role to be a part of and it can be fascinating at times. You can go from sitting with a cup of tea in the crew room to racing towards a confirmed cardiac arrest within the blink of an eye.”

RAF Odiham’s Station Commander Group Captain Nick Knight OBE MA said: “I am delighted that our Co-responder Team here at RAF Odiham continues to support the NHS Ambulance Service during these difficult times. Many of them volunteering their own spare time alongside their demanding day jobs at this busy station. I am proud of their efforts and their willingness to play their part in this vital role.”



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