As the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations begins around the country, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) continues to offer support to the health sector during the pandemic. Having already seen staff from various parts of the Service helping with training new ambulance drivers, supporting the community hubs and working as ambulance drivers, CFRS is now offering its support with the vaccination program. Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland said: "The pandemic has been such a challenging time for everyone, across the country and the rest of the world. From the very start we have been seeing where we can provide help and ensure we are there for our communities, in particular those most vulnerable residents. With vaccination centers now being set up across the country, we want to ensure we are standing with the NHS to help protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible." updated risk assessments "We have already asked our staff if they would be interested in supporting the rollout and are working with our partners to see how we can assist. This could range from our premises potentially being used as venues - we already do this successfully with NHS Blood and Transplant - to our staff assisting with giving the vaccinations. Another thing we are exploring is our staff helping to set up and run vaccination centers." Our staff are at the heart of everything that we do and we wouldn’t put them at any unnecessary risk" This week the National Fire Chiefs Council released a range of updated risk assessments allowing fire service staff to continue work on COVID-19 related activities, while also taking on more and different responsibilities. To support this, 10,000 lateral flow tests a week will be provided by the government to fire services, meaning up to 5,000 firefighters could soon be supporting the UK-wide vaccination program now underway. facing significant challenges These tests will help keep firefighters who are undertaking vital COVID work safer - and is in line with other emergency services testing procedures. Newly updated risk assessments include support to the ambulance service including driving ambulances, community vaccination work, delivering PPE, transferring COVID patients, providing training on infection, protection and control, non-blue light driver training, and the movement of bodies. Chief Fire Officer Strickland added: "Having these risk assessments in place is very important to ensure that we are offering staff the right protection if we are carrying out these new duties. Our staff are at the heart of everything that we do and we wouldn’t put them at any unnecessary risk. This is a time of national crisis and we are there to help in the fight against COVID-19. We’ve already faced significant challenges over the last year, but we have continued to support our communities while also keeping our staff safe. We aim to carry this on and assist the government and the NHS with the vaccination program where that help would be welcome."
The impact from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a major incident being declared by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS). With the total number of confirmed cases continuing to rise throughout the UK and the British government advice for those showing symptoms, or knowing someone showing symptoms, to isolate for extended periods, the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is getting ready to face staffing and staff shortage challenges. Countering rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases Please be assured that we currently have enough staff across the county to crew our fire engines" The Chief Fire Officer at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS), Chris Strickland said in a statement, “Please be assured that we currently have enough staff across the county to crew our fire engines. However we are fully aware that the pandemic will take its toll on us in the coming days and weeks, so we must work hard to plan and prepare for the potential impacts to ensure we can provide the best possible service to the people of Cambridgeshire.” Chief Strickland adds, “Much like any other protracted incident, we need to make plans to ensure we can not only cope with dealing with the current situation, but make sure we can respond to any other emergency that might arise. Declaring this a major incident simply allows us to put in place clear structures and mechanisms, for our staff and for working with our partner agencies in the local resilience forum.” Ensuring public safety He further stated, “We’ll be calling on our tried and tested resilience plans to keep the public safe and well informed. This has not been initiated because of a significant rise in cases of COVID-19 in our area or because of the capacity of us or other agencies. We are predicting what might happen and we want to ensure we have everything in place to respond as effectively as they can, even in the face of reduced staffing levels.” Many residents across the county will be facing significant periods of time at home, either working or looking after children, or both. While at home residents are urged to maintain good fire safety standards and ensure crews are not called out unnecessarily. Fire safety at residential homes and buildings Testing their smoke alarms regularly and encouraging their friends to do so is a great help" CFO Strickland continues, “There are many steps people can take to ensure they are keeping their homes safe from fire. Testing their smoke alarms regularly and encouraging their friends to do so is a great help, as well as making sure they are clean. Also if you are planning on making use of the time at home to sort out the garden, think about other ways to dispose of garden waste other than a bonfire.” “Businesses can also do their bit to help ensure our crews are not called out unnecessarily. For example, businesses can make sure their buildings and establishments are secured and any rubbish or combustible material is stored securely, preferably away from the building.” Unprecedented public health crisis CFO Strickland concludes, “We are facing an unprecedented public health situation in this country and it’s more important than ever that we all work together to deal with the challenges that lie ahead. I want to assure everyone that we are all working extremely hard to make sure we able to respond when we are needed. Now more than ever we need the support of the public to help us continue to provide an emergency service.” Chief Strickland urged the public to follow government orders regarding social distancing and home stay strictly, adding “We urge the public to follow government advice, to stay at home and only go out if they really need to. We need people to practice social distancing, and to continue practicing good hygiene, to help protect our emergency service staff and those who are most vulnerable in our communities.”
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service announced that it has been putting plans in place to ensure residents across the county will get emergency response treatment when they need it during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Emergency response treatment Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Chief Fire Officer, Chris Strickland said, “We want to assure residents that we are taking the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic very seriously. We have been working closely with our local authority partners for the last few weeks and are continually monitoring the latest government advice. Staff is exercising good hygiene including washing and sanitizing hands at locations across the county. We will continue to do this to ensure we are able to offer the highest level of service and to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible.” “Over the coming weeks and months we will continue look at how we provide our service to the public, to ensure we minimize the risk to the public and our staff, while taking a proportionate response to the latest emerging information about the coronavirus."