6 April 2020
A patrol sergeant from Dorset Police who coordinated special PPE packs so colleagues could mobilise safely to deal with COVID-19 incidents hopes the practice might be copied nationwide.
Fed Rep Tim Ward, who is based in Bournemouth South, acted swiftly when he realised guidance over safety gear was limited. He decided to take matters into his own hands and streamlined the process by producing dedicated PPE packs for crews to utilise.
Tim, who has 18 years’ service, established a bank of sealed boxes which were specifically labelled and included everything from FP3 masks, aprons, and goggles. The boxes are placed in frontline vehicles at the start of a shift and then signed in and out when colleagues finish work.
Any stock used during a shift will be replenished immediately after the sealed containers are thoroughly sanitised.
Tim said: “I think every force has probably had the same experience of sorting PPE kit effectively. I decided to collect the kit and create eight boxes which are available for our crews.
“These dedicated Covid-19 boxes have all the protective gear in one place. This means officers don’t have to worry or think about individually collecting their own PPE equipment before a shift and this makes life less of a stress.
“The Force has been really supportive and if I’ve done a small thing then it has all been worth it. I’d urge others to look at this idea as it is really effective.”
Day-to-day activities at Dorset have also been specially adapted to help cope with the difficulties of coping with COVID-19.
Double traffic crews have been kept together as often as possible for shifts, and officers sit a desk apart and sanitise everything including steering wheels. Shift changes are also done as quickly as possible, to minimise contact between hard-pressed colleagues.
Tim added: “We’ve a brilliant team here and every member of staff is pulling together. If what I’ve done makes a tiny difference, then I’ll be really proud.”