City soldier helps ebola victims

Emma Caton is currently in Sierra Leone helping in the fight against Ebola.
Emma Caton is currently in Sierra Leone helping in the fight against Ebola.

Young Lancaster soldier Emma Caton is among some of the first members of the British army to be sent to Sierra Leone to assist with the Ebola crisis.

Former Ripley St Thomas pupil Emma, 26, is with the Queen Alexander nursing corps and last week was sent on a deployment expected to last at least three months.

Emma Caton.

Emma Caton.

Emma, who is now based in Aldershot, trained as a healthcare assistant and is part of a team which is looking after heathcare workers who have Ebola.

Other members of the regiment are setting up a field hospital in the country.

Emma’s mum Chris said: “The whole purpose is to encourage charity workers to go out there in the knowledge that they will be looked after.”

Emma’s trip came out of the blue, having been called up while she was on leave.

Chris said: “She was at home and meant to be going back [to Aldershot] but she got a call to say she was going to York for two weeks for Ebola training and then they were sent straight out there.

“We have been able to keep in contact as the internet out there is improving.

“She said it is very humid as it is their rainy season, and so they are having to work in two-hour shifts because of the heat.

“She said the welcome they received was like nothing she had seen before – villagers followed their bus on foot for three miles.

“It’s very basic; the army has taken over a run-down hotel and is making it into a secure compound for them.

“But she’s doing what she wanted to do.”

Chris said she has been reassured by the intensive training Emma has undergone and knows she need not worry about her daughter.

She said: “I am very confident in the training she has had.

“I am also a nurse myself so I am aware of the medical side of things.

“They are all having temperature checks three times a day and are being monitored for any signs of fever.”