HMICFRS has outlined its key findings in a report which covers how the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Staff stepped up to support the communities and partners during the pandemic. As a service Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Staff welcomes the opportunity to consider any lessons learned from the inspection. They will review the areas for consideration identified by HMICFRS as they continue to support the staff and partners, whilst trying to ensure the communities safety during these challenging times. Additional driver training The report recognizes the positive contribution Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Staff have made to the community during the pandemic. As a service they reacted quickly and proactively to give additional support to partners and the community during the initial phases of the pandemic. They continued to provide the level of activity expected in the response and prevention functions. This has kept more ambulances on the road with the staff working over 1800 hours The staff, including firefighters, took on several additional roles to support the needs of the local community. For example, they packaged and delivered around 500 food parcels to vulnerable people, and seconded over 30 staff to the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) to drive ambulances and provide additional driver training. This has kept more ambulances on the road with the staff working over 1800 hours, covering around 1500 shifts. Over 10,500 patients have been reached by their joint teams. Delivering important services Chief Fire Officer, Paul Fuller said; “I am really proud of everything we have achieved, and I would like to thank our staff for their continued support as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change and challenge the way that we are working. During the pandemic we were able to adapt quickly to new ways of working." "This meant we could respond to emergencies and take on a greater role in the community by supporting other blue light services and partner agencies. We continue to deliver an important service to our communities and we will continue to step up and support our partners by driving ambulances, co-responding to medical emergencies and community first responding.”
The National Fire Chiefs Council has released a range of updated risk assessments which will allow fire-fighters and other staff to continue work on COVID-related activities – while taking on more. To support this, 10,000 lateral flow tests a week will be provided by the government to fire services, meaning up to 5,000 fire-fighters could soon be supporting the UK-wide vaccination program underway. These tests will help keep firefighters who are undertaking vital COVID work safer – and is in line with other emergency services testing procedures Updated risk assessments 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. NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher said, “Fire and Rescue Services across the country stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the NHS, nurses, paramedics, and care workers in the fight against COVID-19. Firefighters have extensive first aid, trauma care qualifications and experience and want to play their part.” Firefighter Safety “It is in the DNA of a firefighter to assist where help is needed the most; I know the staff will not sit behind the red doors of their fire station when their help is needed in the communities they so ably serve. They will not wait for the pandemic to pass them by; they are ready, willing, and able to continue to be at the heart of the response." "The safety of firefighters is vitally important to every Chief Fire Officer. These risk assessments clearly set out how we will keep our people safe while carrying out this work.” Keeping communities safe We are looking at how we can support the additional mortuaries, the community vaccination work, and delivering PPE" Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Paul Fuller CBE said; “These updated risk assessments; including supporting the ambulance service enable us to play an important role in helping to keep our communities safe by continuing to drive ambulances, provide a falls response service and rural responding." "In addition, we are looking at how we can support the additional mortuaries, the community vaccination work, and delivering PPE. As in the first lock-down, we are committed to supporting our local communities and Blue Light partners during this challenging time.” Extending support Mr. Wilsher pointed out since March the UK FRS has provided a wide range of support to date. The latest figures show there have been more than 400,000 additional activities. These include delivery of more than 125,000 essential items to vulnerable people; 7,370 NHS and clinical face masks fitted; assembled more than 68,000 singe use face masks; trained 273 people to drive ambulances; transferred 1,456 COVID patients to and from the hospital and moved 3,196 bodies. Vaccination program Phi Garrigan, national COVID lead and NFCC COVID Committee Chair, added, “Firefighters in many services are already supporting the vaccination effort and the lateral flow tests mean all fire services can support the vaccination program is now a reality. This will provide much-needed support to our NHS colleagues who are facing unprecedented pressure as the impact of the new strain of COVID becomes a reality, we are ready to answer the call from NHS and local resilience partners.” With almost 23,000 whole-time firefighters across England alone, there is a real opportunity for Fire and Rescue Services to play a key role in helping to deliver and administer vaccinations across the entire UK. There are an additional 12,498 on-call firefighters ready willing and able to help. Independent data shows that the Infection Prevention and Control measures already in place for firefighters are robust, with sickness figures across fire services remaining relatively low. This additional measure of regular lateral flow testing will help to ensure the health and safety of staff are monitored and that the testing in place mirrors that of the partner agency we are helping.
Motorola Solutions has announced that Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service is the first fire service in the United Kingdom to utilize the combined Motorola Solutions cloud-based control room solution, CommandCentral CRS, the data storage solution, CommandCentral Vault, as well as the integrated CAD solution, delivered by Motorola Solutions. CommandCentral Vault By upgrading its operations into one platform, the new solution helps the fire and rescue service in Bedfordshire to manage their end-to-end workflow. CommandCentral Vault, in addition, offers an encrypted, secure and centralized storage solution for all operational digital media assets and associated meta-data. In addition to the Motorola DP4000 two-way radios, used by Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, the new solutions offer a next-generation control room experience, designed to increase operational efficiencies in incident response and streamline processes and critical communications across the organization as a whole. Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service The CommandCentral software offers integrated voice, data and multimedia communications on a single platform Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service serves a population of 665,000. As part of its ongoing digital transformation, the fire service needed to replace its legacy control room functionality. The new control room solution provides the control room staff, which on an average receives over 60,000 calls per year, the best digital tools to respond effectively. It also provides IT staff with a fully reliable end-to-end workflow, which is easy to manage through the cloud. Together with enhanced security and availability, the CommandCentral software offers integrated voice, data and multimedia communications on a single platform where all data is easily captured and processed, so that incidents can be responded to and reported as efficiently as possible. Cloud-based control center The new cloud-based control center simplifies IT management including the ability to scale data capacity at busy times and reduce costs through the automation of tasks, such as reporting, that were previously done manually. A hosted solution also enhances resilience and support for agile working, so that staff can work remotely and from different sites. In addition, being cloud-based ensures equipment is more secure and resilient. Partnership with Motorola Solutions “We strive to provide an outstanding Fire and Rescue Service to the citizens and visitors of Bedfordshire and lead the way with the latest digital technologies to respond faster and more effectively,” said Paul Fuller CBE, Chief Fire Officer at Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service. Paul adds, “Our control room is at the epicenter of our operations and needs to be failsafe so that every vital piece of information is captured and responded to as efficiently as possible. Through our work with Motorola Solutions and 3tc, we wanted to make a future-proof investment and be the first Fire and Rescue Service to adopt full cloud technology for our control room to further improve our robust, 24/7 operation to make us more responsive and help protect our community.” Next evolution of public safety technology Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service is clearly a pioneer when it comes to developing a cloud-based control room" “Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service is clearly a pioneer when it comes to developing a cloud-based control room,” said Fergus Mayne, Country Manager and Head of Sales UK & Ireland at Motorola Solutions. Fergus adds, “As the next evolution of public safety technology, the new solution can be relied upon as it can be managed remotely with 24/7 support with greater resilience. Ultimately, the new platform enables control room staff to focus on the job at hand, resolve the call at the first contact or dispatch resources in the most efficient way possible to protect the public.” mission-critical software solution The CommandCentral software suite is the industry’s most integrated end-to-end mission-critical software solution for public safety that unifies data and streamlines incident management workflows.
A homeless man in Leighton Buzzard, helped rescue a child from a burning building. Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to reports of a building fire in North Street, Leighton Buzzard. The fire originated in the first floor kitchen of a three storey terraced building and was believed to have been started by a cooking appliance. Jason Barry, a rough sleeper in Leighton Buzzard, saw the incident and rushed to assist at the scene. PCSO Rachel Carne of the Leighton Community Policing Team met with Jason who told her he ‘caught the toddler in (his) sleeping bag.’ Life-Threatening incident PCSO Rachel Carne, said: “Jason didn’t think twice to go and help a person in need and help them save their child. I think this is an extremely commendable thing to do and we are very impressed with altruism and his selfless action.” Prior to crews arriving at the scene, Jason caught the child who was lowered from the first floor window. Three other members of the same family were rescued and led to safety by Firefighters. Chief Fire Officer Paul Fuller said: “I would like to thank Jason for his brave efforts. In a life-threatening incident like this, quick actions are key to saving lives, and for that he should be incredibly proud. I’d also like to thank the crews who rescued several further people from the building and the support from police colleagues for their help and support at the incident.”