Military personnel join forces with the emergency services across the West Country in effort against coronavirus

Military personnel are joining forces with firefighters and paramedics in the South West in response to Covid-19.

The decision comes after more than 300 staff at South Western Ambulance Service Trust have had to go into self isolation.

After days of intensive training, fire crews from Gloucestershire to Cornwall will man ambulances alongside paramedics to ease the pressure on ambulance staff.

The fire service is drawing on the expertise of staff who have been trained as co-responders with the ambulance service in rural areas as part of the effort to increase staff numbers.

The military have undergone comprehensive training, including life saving techniques. Credit: ITV News

On Wednesday (April 22) induction training was given to military personnel at Taunton Ambulance Station.

The training covered skills required for them to safely drive ambulances in a non-blue light role.

They will also be required to decontaminate vehicles, use PPE and handle patients.

Sixty Combat Medical Technicians have already joined doctors and nurses at the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Bristol, which will begin treating its first cases next Monday (April 27).

They will provide basic patient care and monitoring, whilst other military personnel will help with general duties such as portering and equipment maintenance.