'They were legends' - Ambulance staff travelled for hours to get into work and stayed late as region gripped by heavy snow and ice
PUBLISHED: 18:24 01 March 2018 | UPDATED: 07:44 02 March 2018
Ambulance crews travelled for hours to get into work and stayed well past the end of their shifts to ensure patients stayed safe while the region was gripped with heavy snowfall.
Despite vehicles getting stuck in snow and working in adverse conditions, crews have been praised for their hard work and dedication by bosses.
Rob Adams, duty locality officer for central Norfolk with the East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST), said crews had been “amazing” and “done EEAST proud”.
He said four ambulances were stuck Wednesday night, one of which had a patient on board, but staff were prepared with shovels and snow socks to free themselves.
It comes as EEAST declared “surge black” - a measure of capacity only exceeded by a major incident - because snow was slowing them down.
But Mr Adams said intrepid staff had continued to show their dedication. He said: “It took one member of staff seven hours to get from Watton to Longwater (in Norwich) but she still came in.”
Mr Adams said the staff member even stayed a couple of hours later to help out.
And he said crews had been staying hours past their finish time without complaint due to the conditions.
Some members of staff had even brought sleeping bags in case they could not make it home.
But he praised not just the staff but the members of the public who had been helping them out.
He said: “It’s nice to see they all pulled together. We’ve had our community first responders who have continued to work for us and in some cases they’ve been walking to jobs, they’ve walked to patients. And we talk about community spirit, the patient who was in the ambulance which was stuck, his wife was giving us directions on the best way to go. Everyone is making the effort.”
He added: “I’m proud - that’s the word I would use. They were legends in that respect and it made me proud to put on that uniform and represent who we are because they’ve gone above and beyond.
“I could not have asked for anymore.”