Flooding update - 27 July
The Kassam Stadium evacuation centre will be closed down on
Friday but St John Ambulance Oxfordshire will still be out and
about helping in the community.
During the recent floods, a nursing home had to be evacuated and
all of the elderly residents transported to a hotel where they
could stay. The residents who include a MRSA+ patient and many
reliant on oxygen, are normally under full-time care and
supervision at their residential home and it was essential that
this continued. Experienced St John Ambulance volunteers are giving
them 24-hour care during their stay at the Holiday Inn by the
Kassam Stadium and are ensuring their stay is as comfortable as
It was a truly amazing response from our volunteer members once the call for help was received
Commissioner Operations, West Midlands
Additionally St John Ambulance's patient transport unit is
assisting the local A&E department.
Spokespeople are available at hotel and from patient
Ann Neville, Banbury Unit of St John Ambulance, said: 'The call
came for some of us to go to the Kassam Stadium on Sunday evening,
Abingdon had flooded and care homes were being evacuated. The
mammoth task of booking in the residents and allocation of rooms
took until 3.00am when all went quiet.
'Two residents who were too ill to go to the Holiday Inn hotel
nearby had to be accommodated in another nursing home at
'I expressed concern to an elderly lady for all she was having
to go through and she said "don't you worry about it, I haven't had
a holiday in years"!
'Over the past few days volunteers from St John Ambulance have
done various shifts ensuring personnel are on duty 24 hours each
'Cadet members [youth members aged 10-18] have helped and have
done a wonderful job assisting with the elderly. They have been a
credit to the organisation.
'Members from all over Oxfordshire have pulled together to make
a fantastic team!'
Ronnie Wiltshire, Wantage Unit of St John Ambulance has his own
tale to tell: 'On Sunday 22 July I was on standby all day and began
my shift at 11pm through till 9am on Monday morning. I registered
38 people as they arrived from the nursing home and gave them
blankets and tea. Members then assisted in transporting them to the
nearby Holiday Inn hotel.
'I slept all day on Monday and then worked all day on Wednesday
at the Kassam Stadium. The local school came in to entertain people
and Mr Fuzzy a balloon artist.
'I also went with a family to Next in Oxford to buy clothes;
they only had what they stood up in.'
The ambulance service is now able to cope with demand so our
volunteers are no longer needed to support them. However St John
Ambulance Gloucester still has a vital role to play in the
community. The main urgency is supplying water to everyone who
needs it; in particular the less able members of society who cannot
easily walk to the water pumps.
'Our volunteers have risen to the challenge in a
phenomenal way. They have achieved so much in helping a lot of
vulnerable people in the community who may otherwise have been at
risk. We have had no shortage of people volunteers wanting to help
but the flooding has stopped them from being able to get to us. We
even had one volunteer who waded through the water to get to County
Headquarters to help out. Fortunately we have a tumble dryer here
so we were able to dry her clothes before we sent her out again!'
said Jason Lugg, Commissioner of St John Ambulance in
Jason had a race against time when he transported a seriously
unwell person to hospital. They had to change route a number of
times due to roads being blocked/flooded etc.
Another volunteer transported a district nurse who needed to
reach a terminally ill patient to administer medicine.
St John Ambulance in Berkshire has been stood down. The
Environment Agency advised that the peak flood period has passed
after expected flooding on Wed 25 July did not materialise.
St John Ambulance in Buckinghamshire continues to have crews and
vehicles (Land Rover 4 x 4s and ambulances) working with
Oxfordshire St John Ambulance and South Central Ambulance Service,
which they have been doing since last Friday.
Twelve crews supported the West Midlands Ambulance Service
mainly by answering 999 calls in the county to enable statutory
service crews to be despatched to Hereford &
Additionally, a 4x4 vehicle was despatched to help in Hereford
on Saturday but unfortunately couldn't get through the 5ft
floodwater. Volunteers were also on standby in Ledbury,
Herefordshire on Sunday.
Paul Bytheway, Commissioner Operations, said: 'It was a truly
amazing response from our volunteer members once the call for help
was received, our members were only to pleased to be able to help
the victims in the true spirit of the organisation, for the