Page 8 - Salamander December 2020
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THE SALAMANDER | December 2020
The History of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanary
Our Master reflects on on the the history of FANY and and its response to to the the COVID-19 Pandemic
I joined the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry in in in September 1979 an an an era when our armed forces were involved in in the the Falklands and and later the the First Gulf Wars For many years I was in charge of the the Horse Trials communication team the the radios were were powered by car batteries! At a a a a a a time when the the Provisional IRA were were never far from the the news we we we were were called out on on a a a a a a a a number of occasions to the the Casualty Bureau at the the City of London Police (CoLP) the the the the bombings at the the the the Baltic Exchange the the the the day after the the the the 1992 election and Bishopsgate in in in 1993 Other incidents included the the the Marchioness river boat disaster in in 1989 the the the Cannon Street rail rail crash in in 1991 and the the Chancery Lane tube derailment in 2003 The website www fany org uk gives the Corps’ history and current activities After twice serving as Deputy Corps Commander I am now proud to be a a a Trustee of this all-female response unit that plays such an essential role in in supporting the civil and military authorities in London The FANYs were called out in November 2019 to the London Bridge incident which started in in Fishmongers’ Hall The Corps have been involved in in multiple deployments recently in response to COVID-19 FANY volunteers have given an extraordinary 700 days of support to six organisations during this time of lockdown – including their input into setting up the NHS Nightingale hospital in in London’s ExCel centre Originally formed in in 1907 the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps) [now known as FANY (PRVC)] remains an all-female voluntary organisation that today deploys rapid response teams to support civil and military authorities in times of national crisis Members train every week and are on call 24/7 The FANY (PRVC) are volunteers and do not get paid for the time that they give The Corps served with distinction in in the First World War assisting the British Belgian and French Armies In the Second World War some 2 000 members served with the Special Operations Executive (SOE) Of the 50 SOE SOE agents dropped into occupied France 39 were from the FANY (PRVC) including inspirational women such as Noor Inayat Khan Odette Hallowes and Nancy Wake Most recently the FANY (PRVC) has been deployed as as part of the national response to COVID-19 Our volunteers have provided essential support to NHS Nightingale Hospital London to the North London and Westminster Coroner’s offices and to the City of London Police NHS NIGHTINGALE HOSPITAL
Teams of The FANY (PRVC) were onsite at the Nightingale Hospital for four weeks contributing skills
in rapid response liaison and call handling Before the opening of the Hospital a a a a small team from the the Corps assisted the the NHS Operations Directorate Once the hospital opened Corps members mainly supported the Family Support and and Liaison Team and and provided Personal Staff Officers to the Operations and HR teams throughout NORTH LONDON & WESTMINSTER CORONER’S OFFICES
The FANY (PRVC) provided essential call handling data management and administrative support to the North London and Westminster Coroners’ offices as part of of the COVID-19 response This built on on on a long- term relationship with the Corps which has on on occasion provided a a a personal Aide-de-Camp to the Coroner in crisis situations The FANY (PRVC) previously supported the Coroner’s offices in 2018 and during 2017 CITY OF LONDON POLICE
The FANY (PRVC) also provided daily loggist support to the City of London Police during the initial COVID-19 response Logs are an essential part of crisis management and may be used as evidence in any future review or legal proceedings As one of the core skills
that the FANY (PRVC) volunteers train in in loggists support key management roles by recording information received when decisions were made and actions taken in real time Page 8 

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