THE Chief Executive of South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has thanked staff and the South West community for all their hard work over the past week.

Ken Wenman praised both staff and the local communities for pulling together and helping out hard working ambulance crews, whilst they carried out their emergency responses over the weekend, when Storm Emma hit the region. 

Ken was thankful to staff and volunteers for their dedication and professionalism whilst working under such cold and difficult conditions – even just getting to work has seemed almost impossible at times.

He said: "I’d like to thank our dedicated teams of volunteers and responders, as well as the kind members of the public who had 4x4s and helped our crews to do their work during some exceptionally difficult conditions.

"I have watched our teams go above and beyond their day-to-day frontline roles and have witnessed true commitment, compassion and dedication.

"I heard numerous examples of how many of our staff and members of the public showed true professionalism and duty of care to both patients and colleagues alike. I want them all to know that it is recognised and genuinely appreciated.

"It was an exceptionally difficult time for all of us in so many ways, thank you for giving so much."

Ken was also humbled by the community spirit across the region and gave special mentions to people who really went beyond the call of duty.

"You're all superstars," he said. "John Todd spent from 7am to 9pm conveying staff into work and then again this morning from 5:45am until 9am while Geoff Smith spent a day conveying staff to Amesbury Station.

"Paul Conn of Bits & Pieces allowed ambulance vehicles to be parked securely after some became stuck due to the snow and Simon Claisse and The Jockey Club in Cheltenham gave us five 4x4 vehicles, with his staff making 13 trips around Gloucestershire conveying staff to ambulance stations and to the clinical control hub," Ken added.

Honourable mentions also went out to Lee Mallen Capentry from Feniton who collected the HEMS dispatchers and Control hub staff, including a members of staff from Torquay and Steve Pack helped by using his 4x4 across the Dorset patch attending incidents, as well as checking Defibrillators were working.