THE chief executive of South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has thanked staff and residents across Somerset for  their hard work after snow battered the county.

Snow and ice brought disruption to Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge when Storm Emma and the Beast from the East arrived in Somerset.

Roads were closed, hospital staff struggled to get to work, train services were cancelled and food supplies dwindled as around 20cm of snow fell on the county between Thursday and Sunday (March 1-4).

The treacherous conditions saw Avon and Somerset Police declare the event as a ‘major incident’ on Friday after around 100 cars became stuck on the A303 near Ilminster

Ken Wenman, chief executive of South Western Ambulance Service (SWAST) praised staff and local communities for pulling together and helping out ambulance crews while they responded to emergency calls, battling the elements during the extreme cold weather.

He praised his staff for their dedication and professionalism while working in cold and difficult conditions – even just getting to work has seemed almost impossible at times.

“I’d like to thank our dedicated teams of volunteers and responders as well as the kind members of the public who had 4x4s and helped our crews to do their work during some exceptionally difficult conditions.

“I have watched our teams go above and beyond their day-to-day frontline roles and have witnessed true commitment, compassion and dedication.

“I heard numerous examples of how many of our staff and members of the public showed true professionalism and duty of care to both patients and colleagues alike. There are too many names to mention individuals, but I want them to know that it is recognised and genuinely appreciated.

“It was an exceptionally difficult time for all of us in so many ways, thank you for giving so much.”