Firefighters support paramedics to help deliver life-saving care
Date: 20 April 2020
Firefighters in Suffolk are joining forces with blue light colleagues here at the EEAST to help provide life-saving frontline care during the coronavirus pandemic.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service has volunteered and trained about 30 firefighters to work alongside paramedics to respond to 999 calls over the coming weeks. The firefighters are already blue light trained and will drive frontline emergency NHS ambulances, in turn freeing up paramedics to care for patients.
The firefighters have completed an induction course at Newmarket Ambulance Station, which included familiarising them with our vehicles and equipment. They were also taught basic life support and safe moving and handling skills so that they can help transfer patients.
Paul Marshall, Head of Operations for Suffolk and North Essex at EEAST, said: “I feel hugely inspired right now because I know there are a lot of people out there who are very worried. But I feel this sense of togetherness is a demonstration of the emergency services at their best, coming together in the public’s time of need to meet this national emergency head on.”
Marcus Bailey, Chief Operating Officer with EEAST, said: “We are very grateful to our blue light colleagues in the fire and rescue service and look forward to working closely with them to keep our patients, staff, volunteers and the wider public safe during this pandemic.
“Covid-19 represents an unprecedented challenge for all of us and we truly appreciate the fantastic support we have received from the fire service, the public, businesses and our other partners. We would urge people to continue to play their part in helping the NHS by taking extra care of themselves, only going out for essential items, observing advice about hand-washing and maintaining social distancing.”
Mark Hardingham, Chief Fire Officer with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“I’d like to say thank you to the firefighters and officers who have volunteered to support our friends in the ambulance service. In Suffolk, both services already work closely together at incidents and share several stations around the county.
“We have worked hard to ensure our firefighters will be appropriately trained and protected for this redeployment, and it’s another example of the exceptional community spirit and action we’re seeing across the country. It is in our nature to help the public, and at this time the public can help us by simply staying at home.”
Firefighters in Suffolk are joining forces with us here at the EEAST to help provide life-saving frontline care during the coronavirus pandemic.