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Royal Marine Band members roll up their sleeves to battle the spike in Scotland

22 November 2021
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ROYAL MARINE Band members from the Commando Training Centre (CTC) in Lympstone, Devon, are among military personnel deployed to NHS Fife to assist with booster vaccinations.

Lance Corporals Kirsty Haines (24) and Hannah Rigg (24) have swapped their musical instruments for medical equipment, working alongside NHS staff to deliver winter vaccinations across Fife.  They are among a dozen armed forces personnel currently working in the area.

Known for wowing crowds up and down the country with their musical ability, members of the Royal Marine Band Service are also fully trained military personnel, usually providing medical support.

Deployed on operations during the First and Second World Wars, Band members have also been involved in providing support during the Falklands conflict, Kosovo, the Iraq War, and Afghanistan, often onboard Royal Fleet Auxiliary hospital ships.

Lance Corporal Kirsty Haines, a flautist and saxophonist from Worcester, said: “I am happy to be up here as part of a larger group helping where we can.  It’s nice to have a change of scenery, meet new people and be part of a team that can offer support to NHS Scotland.”

Last year, colleagues from the Royal Marine Band Scotland at MOD Caledonia, Rosyth, were in north west England to help administer initial COVID-19 vaccinations.
This winter however, it’s the Band members from Lympstone who have travelled to Scotland to provide support.

Lance Corporal Hannah Rigg from Essex, who plays French Horn with the RM Band, said: “At the beginning of the year I helped the NHS on the COVID wards at Exeter Nightingale Hospital. 

“It’s really great that I am able to help support NHS Scotland in a different way by administrating COVID vaccinations.”

It is a fantastic, multi-agency and community effort – all helping return Scotland to normality.

Brigadier Andy Muddiman RM, Naval Regional Commander for Scotland and Northern Ireland

All members of the Royal Marine Band Service are level 2 First Aiders with many going on to complete level 3 qualifications.

At any one time, one of the Royal Marine Bands are at five days’ notice to support the Royal Navy medical branches on board Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Argus.  Here they receive additional training and undertake a variety of medical support roles.

The Band members deployed on vaccination duties have also undertaken additional training before going out into the field.

Brigadier Andy Muddiman RM, Naval Regional Commander for Scotland and Northern Ireland, who visited the Royal Marine Band Members at the vaccination centre in Dunfermline’s Kingsgate Shopping Centre, said: “As the Royal Navy’s Regional Commander in Scotland, it is my pleasure to welcome south west England-based Royal Marines to Scotland.

“Sailors and Marines from all corners of the UK are pleased to support NHS Scotland’s COVID vaccination programme.  It was impressive to see the professionalism of NHS Staff in Dunfermline working alongside Royal Marines and NHS Fife. 

“It is a fantastic, multi-agency and community effort – all helping return Scotland to normality.”

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