Fire services in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire brought in to help paramedics in response to pandemic

Staff from the six fire and rescue services across the East Midlands will be joining EMAS to begin training to support their response to COVID-19.

By Andy Done-Johnson
Monday, 20th April 2020, 12:28 pm
Updated Monday, 20th April 2020, 2:50 pm

If the need arises in the coming weeks, fire service personnel will work alongside EMAS Urgent Care staff and will carry out support tasks such as driving vehicles and the safe moving and handling of patients.

Between 10 to 12 firefighters have been requested by EMAS from each fire service in the EMAS region – Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Humberside, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, as well as control room staff and members of their logistics teams.

EMAS Chief Executive Richard Henderson and several other colleagues are working closely with the Chief Fire Officers, and it is anticipated that many of the fire service staff supporting EMAS with COVID-19 will be on-call firefighters. All those joining will have volunteered to support EMAS.

Firefighters preparing to volunteer to help EMAS paramedics

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Mr Henderon said: “We have always worked closely with our fire and rescue service colleagues at the many multi-agency incidents we attend, and in recent years this relationship has become even stronger thanks to blue light collaboration at some of our stations, for example Birstall in Leicester and South Park in Lincoln, Swadlincote in Derbyshire and Hucknall in Nottinghamshire.

“In addition to such collaboration, we already work closely with fire co-responder schemes across the region and have done for many years.

“During these unprecedented times, we are more grateful than ever for the support of our blue light colleagues for offering to step in to support our staff and our patients.”

Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer Gavin Tomlinson said: “Over 162 members of staff came forward to volunteer to support EMAS and six of those have already undertaken their training and they are now ready, willing and able to assist driving urgent care vehicles should they be required. A further six volunteers are set to start their training in the coming week.”

A two-day EMAS familiarisation training course has been created and the cohorts will be taught in small groups of six to allow for social distancing. The training will take place, locally, this week and next week at the Hazardous Area Response Team centre in Mansfield.

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