Fire Service staff volunteer more than 20,000 hours during pandemic
Staff from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service have given thousands of hours to the COVID-19 vaccination programme, testing initiatives and in their communities since the start of the pandemic.
Over the course of just over a year, around 200 members of staff have given more than 20,000 hours at vaccination centres across Essex, to help move equipment between community hospitals, deliver food and medicine to people who are vulnerable and self-isolating and to litter pick at beaches for everyone to enjoy being outdoors.
The team has given their time at vaccination centres across the county and 10 staff have trained to give vaccines themselves.
Jayne Moore, Research and Development Officer in the Technical Services team at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service co-ordinates volunteers at the Chelmsford City Racecourse vaccination centre, on Thursdays for six hours and for a day at the weekend.
She hadn’t thought about volunteering before the pandemic but, in March, when she heard volunteers’ help was still needed, she offered her support.
Jayne (pictured above at Chelmsford City Racecourse) said: “I absolutely love it. I did it as a way of giving something back, but it has helped me so much too.
“I didn’t realise how much my mental health had been affected working from home in lockdown. I’m quite an outgoing person but being locked down was making me more insular. Doing something to help during the pandemic was massive for me.
“It’s been lovely helping the patients too. On one occasion, a man with learning difficulties had received a text about his appointment but didn’t understand it. He explained his wife used to do all that kind of thing for him but she had died in January and he started crying.
“I accompanied him through the whole process and he was so grateful at the end – moments like that just warm my heart.
“I would encourage anyone to get involved in volunteering – I will look for something else once we are out the other side of the pandemic.”
If you would like to register your interest to volunteer with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service visit: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/Volunteering/
Page last updated 3 June, 2021