Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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On-call firefighters supporting the Ambulance Service as drivers

Firefighters from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will be supporting the NHS as ambulance drivers again as the East of England Ambulance Service responds to an unprecedented number of calls.

12 on-call firefighters from stations across Essex will begin work as ambulance drivers, alongside paramedics, as soon as they are able to and will support the Ambulance Service until 31 January.

During this time, they will not be asked to fulfil any of their on-call firefighting commitments so they can maximise the support they can offer to the Ambulance Service.

They have already been trained having supported the Ambulance Service during the first wave of the pandemic.

There will be additional opportunities for on-call firefighters to support the Ambulance Service and a two-day training course is planned at Chelmsford Ambulance Station next week.

Jo Turton, Chief Fire Officer / Chief Executive said: 

"It makes me so proud to see colleagues come forward to volunteer to support our NHS colleagues.

"We were one of the first fire and rescue services in the country to respond during the first pandemic and our firefighters made a real difference.

“Firefighters from our Service provided 8,350 hours, responded to an estimated 4,175 calls and helped to make 696 ambulances available during the first wave of the pandemic."

On Easter Monday, 19 on-call firefighters began their shifts as ambulance drivers as part of an eight-week partnership. The partnership was extended for another four weeks, with 11 on-call firefighters continuing the role until 8 July.

They attended a variety of incidents, including helping to deliver four babies.

Jo added: "Of course, while this activity is taking place, we'll always maintain our core function as a fire and rescue service."

Editor's note: The pictures in this press release were all taken in April to July.


Page last updated 30 December, 2020

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