Two West Midlands paramedics have volunteered to give up their Chrismases at home to be amongst the first to join the fight against Ebola.
Trauma Medic with the Major Emergency Response Intervention Team, Thomas Waters, 26 and Paramedic, Gerard Kelly, 42 were deployed in Sierra Leone over the weekend.
Alongside two other Midlands NHS staff – a Consultant Psychiatrist with South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and a Senior Sister at Haywood Hospital.
The group volunteered to leave their day jobs to work in the treatment centres built by British Army Royal Engineers, not returning until after the Christmas period.
They will join a group of more than 30 other NHS volunteers, compleete a week of training and acclimatisation before beginning work setting up procedures, diagnosing and treating peple who have bontracted the deadly virus.
Speaking before he left about his upcoming trip, Thomas Waters said: “I feel anxious and nervous but confident in the training that we have had by the military so we can practice safely.
“It we can make a difference to just one life it will all be worth it.
” It is important to remember we are the first wave and here to develop a platform for other volunteers to follow on from us.”
The deployment of NHS volunteers is part of wider UK efforts to control, contain and defeat Ebola with the help of other countries including Cuba, Norway, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark.
So far the UK has committed £230million to the response in Sierra Leone.