Cummins employee joins the frontlines of the fight in the U.K. against COVID-19
Stephen Layton is a Cummins employee in the U.K. and a husband and father to three children. With COVID-19 cases rising, it would have been easy to become insular. But when he thought he could help, Layton didn’t hesitate.
Prior to joining Cummins as a telecommunications manager, Layton worked in the medical gas testing industry, ensuring that oxygen and other essential gases needed in hospital intensive care units were up to standards.
When the pandemic escalated in the U.K., Layton was sought after by contacts from his medical gas testing days to help as a volunteer testing the medical gases at some locations including the Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.
The exhibition and convention center was initially converted into a 500-bed hospital with ventilators and oxygen to help with the crisis but was later expanded to a 2,000-bed facility.
“I thought about the thousands of people who would need these medical gases to survive and couldn’t say no to playing my part,” said Layton, who has also volunteered at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, another convention center converted into a Nightingale Hospital about two hours northwest of London.
He has completed more than 100 volunteer hours at these hospitals and is scheduled for more. Layton and the team he’s working with have now tested gases on more than 3,000 bed-stations at different Nightingale hospitals. Each bed has an oxygen supply to deliver directly to patients and another oxygen and medical air supply to run ventilators.
Through it all, for Layton and the team, safety has been the number one priority.
“We adhere to the highest safety and hygiene procedures at all times,” he said. “We drive in separate cars to the hospitals, even though most of us live close to each other and could carpool; we keep our masks on; we wash our hands frequently and we maintain good distance while working.”
Layton is one of many people around the world putting themselves on the line to help in the response to COVID-19. His volunteer service and dedication embodies the Cummins values of caring and integrity.