Bakers Dolphin drivers praised for supporting ambulance firm
Drivers from South West travel business Bakers Dolphin have been praised for their professionalism during a pandemic partnership with a Bristol ambulance firm.
Twenty drivers from Bakers Dolphin have spent the past 14 months with Bristol Ambulance Emergency Medical Services, based in St Phillips, Bristol, after lockdown restrictions prevented the coach company from running its popular holidays and day trips.
Now with the Government’s roadmap to recovery giving Bakers Dolphin the green light to get its fleet of coaches back on the road from 17 May, the drivers have returned from their ambulance duties.
Rob Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of Bristol Ambulance EMS said: “In April last year we began our partnership with Bakers Dolphin, to utilise their coach drivers on our Patient Transport Services as part of our COVID resilience planning.
“Over the past 14 months, the additional staff have been invaluable in enabling us to increase our service provision to the NHS, as we jo8intly battled through the height of the pandemic.
“Throughout their time with us, the performance, care, empathy and professionalism of the drivers from Bakers Dolphin has been exemplary, and everybody at Bristol Ambulance would like to say a huge, heartfelt, thank you for the supportive resilience they provided us with in what, at times, could only be described as a ‘war zone’.
“We wish all the Bakers Dolphin team the best for their future endeavours, now that the world of travel and tourism begins to re-open.”
Simon Honey, who has been a Bakers Dolphin driver for eight years, said: “It has been great to be part of such an amazing team of people.”
Fellow coach driver Paul Mansfield, who has been with Bakers Dolphin for nearly a decade, said: “It’s been a real pleasure to work for you we’ve learnt a lot and made some friends along the way and met some amazing patients.”
Amanda Harrington, Sales and Marketing Director for Bakers Dolphin, said: “We are so proud of our drivers for their work with the ambulance service during such an incredibly challenging time.
“We were in a position where we had drivers with no work and a business with very little income, so the partnership with Bristol Ambulance worked for everybody.
“Our team already had knowledge of the area, excellent driver skills and superb customer service skills, so they only need a little specialist training before they were able to support the ambulance teams.
“As proud of them as we are, we are even more delighted to now have them back as they get ready to get back to doing what they enjoy most – providing miles of smiles for our customers as we are finally able to start running day-trips and holidays again.
“So many people are desperate for a much needed – and well-deserved – change of scenery and our drivers can’t wait to meet up with some familiar faces, and new customers, as lockdown restrictions are eased and holidays can begin again.
“Our drivers have had an amazing experience with the ambulance service, and we wish all of them the very best for the future.”
Bakers Dolphin has an exciting programme of holidays and day-trips lined up over the coming weeks and months, with plenty of old favourites and many new tours, too.
The firm’s coaches are being subjected to the most stringent cleaning regimes, so travellers can be reassured that their safety is of the highest priority.