Crews from the six fire and rescue services in the East Midlands will link up with the ambulance service for training to support its response to the coronavirus crisis.
Between 10 to 12 fire service staff have been requested from each fire service in the region – Humberside, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, as well as control room staff and members of their logistics teams.
A two-day EMAS familiarisation training course has been created. Small groups of six will be taught to ensure social distancing is observed.
The training will take place this week and next week at its Hazardous Area Response Team centre in Mansfield, as well as at the education and development centres in Lincoln, Northampton and Leicester.
This will mean that should the need arise in the coming weeks fire personnel will be able to work alongside EMAS Urgent Care staff to carry out support tasks. This could include driving EMAS’ Urgent Care vehicles and the safe moving and handling of its patients.
Richard Henderson, Chief Executive at EMAS, said that several of the fire service colleagues linking up with EMAS will be on-call firefighters. All those joining have volunteered to support EMAS.
He said: “During these unprecedented times, we are more grateful than ever for the support of our blue light colleagues for offering to step in to support our staff and our patients.
“Having these robust plans for support from our fire service colleagues will help to ensure that our EMAS clinicians can continue to provide care to our patients who need us most.”
Les Britzman, Lincolnshire’s Chief Fire Officer, added: “Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue already work closely with partners to help in communities, with many firefighters carrying out extended duties, assisting EMAS at a range of medical emergencies.
“Our firefighters are dedicated to their communities, and have taken this stance for 20 years, to save lives and protect residents. We are currently working with partners, staff and representative bodies to consider how our teams can further support our communities during this emergency and we thank the public for their support.”