Firefighters drive ambulances and respond to health emergencies during pandemic
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As well as doing their usual tasks, members of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) have been supporting North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) when necessary.
And bosses say they are ready to step forward if more help is needed.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Leon Parkes said: “GMFRS staff have been supporting the Greater Manchester response to Covid-19 throughout the pandemic. Our staff have helped with PPE distribution, contact tracing, supporting local authorities contacting vulnerable residents, and more recently we have been supporting at testing and vaccination sites as well as contacting residents in south Manchester to make them aware of the ongoing surge testing.
“GMFRS regularly works with our blue light partners in Greater Manchester and when North West Ambulance Service asked us to support them we were more than happy to assist. A number of our firefighters have stepped forward to assist our colleagues at NWAS by driving ambulances, responding to emergencies and helping NWAS paramedics where necessary. I would also like to thank local Fire Brigades Union (FBU) representatives for their support for this work.
“The health and well-being of our staff is paramount and we will ensure that our firefighters working with NWAS have the right training and right protection for the role. We are grateful to our firefighters for offering to assist NWAS and we are confident that whilst providing this support, we will not compromise fire cover in Greater Manchester.
“Whilst there is no urgent requirement for deployment, we are preparing to respond swiftly. GMFRS is ready, willing and able to support our partners in Greater Manchester and we will continue to protect communities by responding to incidents throughout the pandemic.”
Bev Hughes, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, said: “Our emergency services have done an exceptional job in responding to the challenges faced by the Covid-19 pandemic to protect and support our communities while also dealing with day-to-day incidents and emergencies. I’d like to commend them for their continued hard work.
“Blue light services and partner agencies in Greater Manchester and across the North West regularly work, train and respond to emergencies together, and this initiative takes that collaborative working even further. If needed, our firefighters will be able to assist paramedics to ensure they can provide an effective response to people who need it, and I’d like to thank all those involved in making this happen.”
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