The military will drive ambulance vehicles from the Inverness command and control centre to tackle the mounting health crisis.
Hundreds of firefighters, military personnel and taxi drivers will be drafted in to help bail out Scotland’s crisis-hit ambulance service from this weekend.
Around 225 military staff will assist with driving ambulances and at mobile testing units for at least two months but this could be extended.
Brigadier Ben Wrench, operational commander of the 51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland, told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland that the army will drive vehicles from three centres, including at Inverness.
However, the army has not so far received any requests in relation to setting up field hospitals, despite calls to urgently establish them to ease pressure on the NHS.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has dismissed calls to open field hospitals as there is not the workforce.
However, he told the BBC he “won’t rule it out entirely”.
The Ministry of Defence is already providing similar driver support in England and Wales and is supporting the NHS in Northern Ireland.
The first minister finally admitted on Tuesday that Scotland’s NHS is in “crisis” following the publication of the worst A&E statistics on record.
‘It will be kept under review’
Drivers will receive training from the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) before they get crewed up with ambulance technicians and paramedics.
They will drive “ambulance vehicles” but not “blue light emergency vehicles”, Brigadier Wrench confirmed.
He added: “The deployment would last for at least a couple of months.
“It will be kept under review. We will be looking at all the changing statistics and the case numbers and we’ll work alongside our colleagues to decide how long we need to continue, if we need to continue.”