A group of Bakers Dolphin coach drivers are working with Bristol Ambulance (EMS) to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.
In light of the cancellation of all travel both national and international, coach company Bakers Dolphin has forged an agreement with Bristol Ambulance Emergency Medical Services.
The agreement sees 20 Bakers Dolphin drivers re-train for their new role as ambulance drivers, providing cover in four-day shifts with Bristol Ambulance (EMS).
Max Fletcher, managing director at Bakers Dolphin, said: “Our business is over 100 years old and helped out in wars in the past providing transport, so this is another chapter in our history.”
He also said that Bakers Dolphin has undergone “an incredibly stressful time with thousands of cancellations so far,” with office staff continuing to deal with customer queries and re-bookings.
In addition, some of the company’s drivers - 50 of which are out of work - will operate coaches for the children of key workers who are still attending school.
Bristol Ambulance (EMS) reportedly expect demand to rise over the coming weeks due to increasing cases of Covid-19 in the area. Director of operations Rob Johnson said: ”It was important for us to find local drivers that are available right away as our own dedicated team will not be able to work all the hours we are expecting to keep up with the demand for our services.”
While the drivers have received specialist training, Rob Johnson added that their local knowledge, driving skills and customer service experience will aid them in the new role.
“In order to minimise any risk to these drivers, our crews, or our patients, the Bakers Dolphin team will be utilised on our routine patient transport journeys and will not form part of our Accident and Emergency response.”
For further information on Bakers Dolphin’s coronavirus response, visit the website.
About Bakers Dolphin
The coach and holiday company is based in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, and operates coach hire for events, as well as assists with holiday planning. Its groups department handles group coach holidays, helping organisers put together itineraries including destinations and hotels. You can find out more at www.bakersdolphin.com/holidays/group-holidays.