Firefighters in Northamptonshire clock up 1,500 hours supporting ambulance service during pandemic

The scheme to help the ambulance service cope with the pandemic will end this week

Thursday, 30th July 2020, 10:24 am
Updated Thursday, 30th July 2020, 10:28 am

A partnership between firefighters in Northamptonshire and the ambulance service is drawing to close after nearly 1,500 hours of work.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) has been supporting East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) since the end of April.

From driving urgent care vehicles, to the safe moving and handling of patients, 12 on-call firefighters across the county have completed 146 shifts for the ambulance service, amounting to nearly 1,500 hours of work.

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12 firefighters have supported the ambulance service throughout the pandemic.

The scheme put in place to help the ambulance service staff cope with the pandemic will end this week.

NFRS group manager, Stefan Douglas, said: “All the firefighters who have supported this work for EMAS have volunteered to take this on and it has been a huge learning experience for them, and a rewarding one.

“Although this was borne out of managing an extremely challenging situation, there have been positives in the work the organisations have done together.

“The individuals who took part in the scheme have been able to take back additional skills to their on-call stations and EMAS has learned more about our way of working too.”

Michael Jones, general manager for Northamptonshire at East Midlands Ambulance Service, added: “We are incredibly grateful for the support of our colleagues from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service during these unprecedented times, helping to support our staff and patients who need us the most.

“We already work very closely with NFRS through our Emergency Services Volunteers and so this extra support has built on the great relationship we have with the fire service.

“A big thank you to all who have stepped forward to help.”

In order to carry out the work alongside urgent care colleagues at EMAS, firefighters undertook specialist training to gain the skills needed to perform their new roles so remain ready to resume their role supporting the ambulance service should the need arise.

As August 1, and the pause on shielding approaches firefighters are also coming to the end of delivering pharmacy packages to local patients.

After carrying out more than 3,000 deliveries throughout lockdown, they are expected to make their final deliveries at the end of this week.

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