PREAMBLE: COVID19, is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first known recorded case was identified in China in December 2019 but the disease has since spread worldwide, leading to an ongoing global pandemic
The WHO (World Health Organisation) announced “COVID-19” as the name of this new disease on 11 February 2020. Global cases around the world have caused sickness and death in the millions, and in such large numbers, that many countries reported an overwhelming surge on their healthcare systems and local communities.
(Graphic pictured is the Service award for volunteering and also the Challenge Coin Award (pictured) for several verified and logged days.)
OPERATION NIGHTINGALE & THE COVID 19 AWARD & CHALLENGE COIN
What is the Operation Nightingale Service Award and Challenge Coin?
ERT SAR’s ACTIVITIES
Like many groups ERT SAR’s activities were affected by the Covid 19 Pandemic.
Initially we were unable to help much in an official capacity although ironically many of our members are front line responders and we are very proud of the front line work they did and continue to do.
ERT SAR, as a disaster response organisation, is used to operating nationally and internationally on disaster missions. ERT SAR mobilised to support our communities and build resilience by continuing to respond as needed by volunteering in official capacities. For example, there was some vaccination support offered at a community level.
We are hoping that we are seeing the proverbial ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ regarding this pandemic.
However we are also warned that not only may VoC (Variants of Concern), mutations, vulnerable and vaccination affect the future outcome – but also other countries and those who are exposed with little protection. It is still in the real of possibility that we may deploy in response to Covid or in a Covid 19 environment (such as flooding or storm response abroad.)
NAMING THE OPERATION
Like all sustained deployments in ERT SAR, a COVID-19 mission name was created in March 2020 at ERT SAR HQ and will continue as long as required, whether locally, nationally or even internationally. (ERTSAR Medics have already been asked to stand by for an international mission to assist countries stiff struggling heavily with the pandemic.)
ERTSAR will continue respond where needed and the related COVID19 operations and this mission will be called: “Operation Nightingale
“ERT SAR usually names missions after “animals” and this was he small but powerful voiced (hopeful) bird. However it was also aptly named after the famous the British founder of modern day nursing, Florence Nightingale; nicknamed “The Lady with the Lamp.” Her pioneering work and saving the lives of Soldiers during the Crimean War was only overshadowed by her lifetime achievements after.)
We know that our members do not volunteer for credit or recognition. However, we like to acknowledge certain milestones and recognise those who support the operation, usually front line but occasionally behind the scenes. It is possible (though not common) for non-members to also get recognised too.
One side of the Operation Nightingale Challenge Coin; the "Nightingale" bird seen attacking the coronavirus