Royal Air Force Halton support to South Central Ambulance Service during COVID-19

RAF Personnel who already volunteer to be Co-Responders to help the Ambulance Service, are deployed on a permanent basis during COVID-19 to support the NHS with Ambulance and Patient Transport Service. Military Assistance to Civilian Authorities (MACA) is provided during unpresidented times where support away from their everyday role is required to support the countries efforts.

Co-Responders for the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) based at RAF Halton have been busy serving the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their Rapid Response Vehicles have been out on the roads with increased shifts over the last 3 months, increasing the footprint of emergency ambulances and saving many lives.


Sqn Ldr Claire Stanley, Sgt Owen Clarke and Cpl ‘Crash’ Stevenson are working with the Patient Transport Service (PTS). This is the highest priority task now for the SCAS, transporting patients to, from and between hospitals as safely as possible to receive ongoing treatments and minimise their exposure time in hospitals. They are also an important part of the plan in helping patients return home after fighting off COVID-19.


WO Alex Bedborough (team leader) and Sgt Dan Dillon have been crewed as Emergency Care Assistants who are working directly with a clinician on the front line ambulances. The Co-Responders not deployed on other duties are carrying out extra shifts in the 2 Rapid Response cars based at RAF Halton or further afield at other RAF Stations and in the local area to maximise output of all cars. The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) dispatcher is Sgt Sue Berrecloth, who is responsible for the movements and allocations of Double Crewed Ambulances in the North of the region, dispatching ambulances to life threatening emergencies. 


WO Bedborough said: “For the first 2 weeks of deployment, most of the jobs we attended were COVID-19 cases requiring emergency transport to hospital once they were stabilised. I’m immensely proud of all of the RAF Halton Ambulance Co-Responders who have gone above and beyond during this pandemic to help save lives alongside our South Central Ambulance Service colleagues.  The Service has been under an enormous amount of pressure during these unprecedented times.  Halton personnel have deployed with such professionalism and dedication to their SCAS roles and I’ve received nothing but praise from all areas of the trust”.


Area Head of Operations, Mark Begley, said: “Stoke Mandeville Ambulance Station has for many years now enjoyed an excellent, mutually supportive relationship with RAF Halton. The support we have received from our RAF colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic has extended well beyond Stoke Mandeville and is testament to the close friendship we have established. RAF staff have provided invaluable support to our services at a time when the welfare of patients and the emergency first responders sent to their aid, was even more crucial. We are truly grateful for the additional support provided by our RAF colleagues who we undoubtedly consider to be part of our team”.