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Jacobs’ Military Reservists Help in the Fight Against COVID-19

Providing logistics and crisis management support to the U.K.’s National Health Service during the pandemic.

Jacobs’ military reservists have stepped up to support the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jacobs Logistics Director Tim Brent was called up to join the team at NHS Gold Command, which coordinates the strategic response to the crisis. Tim is also a Reserve Colonel in the Engineering and Logistics Staff Corps of the Royal Engineers, which helped to build seven temporary ‘Nightingale’ critical care hospitals. As well as working with industry to rapidly build the temporary hospitals, Tim assisted with PPE and Supply Chain delivery and supported the military team on the Vaccine Task Force.

Tim was appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his work, an honour he never expected.

He adds: “I am grateful to have been temporarily released from my role at no notice to join the team at NHS Gold Command. I truly believe that my work at Jacobs will be enhanced by the experience.”

Jacobs Task Lead Consultant in Defence & Security and a Royal Navy Reservist, Mark Edwards, was called up as military liaison officer for the NHS Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board, which covers Pontypridd, Bridgend and Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales.

One of his roles has been to help set up one of the mass vaccination centers which have helped the U.K. to get the vaccine out to its population quickly.

Mark says: “The NHS team really valued my opinion from a military perspective, helping focus thinking on what is really required to support vaccination and acting upon the information I have provided to set those centers up optimally. 

“I have found myself working on entirely new initiatives at a scale I had never imagined, such as the whole town mass testing we undertook in Merthyr Tydfil.  Being able to effectively support the NHS and local authorities in an undertaking like this is incredibly gratifying, operating as one team with a common goal in largely uncharted waters.

“I have witnessed the devastation of this disease first-hand in hospitals and communities and worked side-by-side with teams battling to save the lives of our citizens.  I feel privileged and at times overwhelmed by the efforts of the NHS and their partners doing their utmost to halt the spread of the virus and save lives.“

The impact on front-line NHS workers is a major concern for Andy Cliffe, Bristol-based Senior Project Manager in Defence & Security. Andy, a British Army reservist in a specialist infrastructure unit, responded to a call for crisis management mentors. 

His mentee was a senior NHS Operations Director based in central London, whose task was to transition temporary COVID measures onto a sustainable footing ready for the  anticipated second spike in cases. 

Andy says: “Jacobs’ support for our Reserve Forces has many benefits for the business.  In times of crisis such as this pandemic it is simply the right thing to do – every effort must be made to save life and return to normality.” 

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