You may recall an article I wrote recently about my youngest son and the fact that he – and many other paramedic students have been drafted on to the front line by West Midlands Ambulance Service.
The point of that article was that Covid-19 can suddenly come home to the families of the heroic men and women of the NHS in a most unexpected way.
Setting the scene
Ben is in his second year at Worcester University training to become a Paramedic.
Once I knew that Ben has been called up to initially deep clean (Covid-19) Ambulances and then to be rotated onto live Ambulance duty I felt that the official NHS PPE guidance, the lack of PPE supply and seemingly relaxed attitude of the UK government to get any form of testing for clearly those most in need of it – was pathetic.
So, I began to fret – just a bit.
The aforementioned useless official guidance – the one that watered down the previous advice, is shown below:
As a concerned dad and also as someone who has been told to isolate, I had time on my hands to fret and worry about whether my lad was going into a situation that would increase the likelihood of him catching this disease. Remember he is a student and not an experienced paramedic.
Trying to get him the gear
I wanted to get him some proper gear if I could, so I emailed about 10 of the major respirator retailers and distributors asking whether I can buy ANY version of respiration equipment from them for Ben.
I got two negatives, and most didn’t even reply.
Out of the blue came an email – and I nearly missed it as I thought it was spam – from Screwfix. I nearly fell off my chair – I mean literally.
Not only did they respond to my email, but they offered to send Ben two reusable masks and a several replacement filters!
I was flabbergasted, joyful, amazed and – enough already, let’s just say I was very happy and indeed touched by this gesture.
I offered to pay for the kit, they said “No need to pay for them – we’ve ringfenced our stock for the NHS and are supplying it free of charge whilst we still have stock left“.
So, I asked who is it that I should thank and tell the world about.
They said the CEO, John Mewett was behind this initiative.
It goes without saying that John and everyone at Screwfix is now on my unofficial but still very important – ABSOLUTE HERO list.
I want to thank John personally. So John, if you are reading this. Thank you so much for stepping up and helping at this time of national crisis. Ben and I thank you for providing the chance for him to be better protected to allow him to serve the public and get people the care the need.
Again, thank you.
And finally Ben proudly holding the mask donated by John Mewett and his brilliant team at Screwfix: