Since 29th April, 34 Cardiff Airport firefighters have provided over 480 hours of support to the Dragon’s Heart Hospital (Ysbyty Calon Y Draig) in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
The firefighters worked alongside stadium fire stewards, as well as local authority and retired firefighters to make up a team of 57, ensuring essential 24/7 cover of the hospital whilst it treated Covid-19 patients. Cardiff Airport firefighters continue to be on stand-by for any additional duties required at the Hospital in the coming weeks.
Terry Pritchard, Watch Manager at Cardiff Airport Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“We are very proud that the team at Cardiff Airport are helping to support the national effort, through providing essential safety cover at the Dragon’s Heart Hospital, as well as supporting critical flights landing at Cardiff Airport. It has been fantastic to pull together with the local authorities and work together to keep people safe and provide support to the NHS during these difficult times.”
Len Richards, CEO of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board added:
“Ysbyty Calon Y Draig Dragon’s Heart Hospital is the second-largest field hospital in the UK and is considered a huge success for the mobilisation of the NHS and the private and commercial sector in designing, building and delivering a hospital in just two weeks to protect and treat the communities of South Wales from COVID-19.
“I’d like to thank the firefighters from Cardiff Airport’s Fire and Rescue Service who have helped to ensure the safety of our patients and staff at the hospital.”
Cardiff Airport continues to play a key role in the national effort, whilst preparing for when passenger flights resume. Throughout the pandemic, the Airport has handled three critical cargo flights from China and Cambodia carrying millions of items of PPE for the NHS and care workers in Wales, as well as facilitating a number of training flights operated by European Aviation- a Bournemouth-based company operating vital PPE flights on iconic ‘Thank You NHS’ aircraft.
Furthermore, several Airport team members have been out volunteering in their local communities; including making NHS scrubs bags, working with local foodbanks and helping people who are isolating with daily tasks.
Deb Bowen Rees, CEO at Cardiff Airport, concluded:
‘The commitment, flexibility and enthusiasm that the Cardiff Airport team has shown in supporting the national effort during this pandemic has been fantastic. The teams have not only been working 24/7 to maintain the Airport’s operation, enabling us to handle vital PPE flights for the Welsh NHS, but have also provided support to their communities and the NHS through working at the Dragon’s Heart Hospital and volunteering locally to help others.
“As we prepare to welcome passengers to the Airport again, the team have been working hard putting safety measures in place to ensure a safe and secure airport experience for all. I’d like to extend a massive thank you to all for their efforts during these unprecedented times.”