A soldier in a face bask and ear protection uses power tools to cut wood.

Reservists construct vaccination centre in Jersey

Reservists of Jersey Field Squadron Royal Engineers (Militia) have been using their combat engineering skills to construct a COVID-19 vaccination centre at Fort Regent, Jersey

Over 12 days, 20 reservists from the Jersey Field Squadron, supported by Fort Regent Staff, worked to construct a vaccination centre for the population of Jersey.

A soldier constructs frames for screens to separate the vaccination pods

Together, they constructed six vaccination pods, with capacity for five vaccinators in each pod.

Now complete, the centre will be able to handle up to 1,500 vaccinations a day.

Soldiers build frames for the centre, which was completed in one week

Major Charlie Martell is the Officer Commanding for the operation:

“It’s been absolutely fantastic for the Squadron to have been involved in the community once again, offering a fast response time to an immediate requirement during this pandemic. With long hours and very hard graft, the Reservists have really pulled it out the bag, contributing to helping our own community.”

A soldier trims plastic screening to size in a school hall

The Centre is aiming to deliver vaccines to over 7000 people in January. After opening on Saturday 19 December, it is being used to vaccinate care home staff.

Sapper James Philpott, a Reservist and Real Estate Fund Manager in his civilian job, helped build the centre:

A soldier surrounded by power tools measures wood to make frames

“It’s an amazing feeling to know that everything I’m doing here will impact the health and wellbeing of the island. It’s not something I thought I’d be doing in Jersey when I joined up. I think it’s been a good opportunity for the Squadron to show what we’re capable of. We’ve got lots of people in the Squadron who’ve done all sorts on operations abroad but I’m not sure it always gets across, whereas here we can show our friends, neighbours, and all islanders what we can do.

“It was a bit daunting to stand in a massive empty hall and know that in just a week, we were expected to have built a mass vaccination centre for the island from scratch. Now we’re done, I don’t know why I was at all fazed!”

Jersey Field Squadron RE(M) is a reserve unit based in St Helier, Jersey and is the only permanent military presence in the Channel Islands.

Find out where the UK Armed Forces are deployed here:

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