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Pandemic support for ambulance service ends after completion of almost 1500 hours of work

Firefighters in Northamptonshire will this week bring their programme of ambulance service support efforts to a close, having completed almost 1500 hours of work during the pandemic.

Since the end of April, on-call firefighters from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) have completed 146 shifts to support East Midlands Ambulance Service, amounting to just under 1500 hours of work.

Early in the pandemic, NFRS became one of the fire and rescue services asked to take part in work which included performing tasks such as driving Urgent Care vehicles and the safe moving and handling of patients.

Other services in the region asked to participate included Humberside, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

In total, 12 firefighters from NFRS took part in supporting the work of EMAS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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.”

In order to carry out the work alongside Urgent Care colleagues in EMAS, firefighters undertook specialist training to gain the skills needed to perform their new roles.

Michael Jones, General Manager for Northamptonshire at East Midlands Ambulance Service said:

“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.”

NFRS Firefighters remain ready to resume their role supporting EMAS should the need arise.

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