Posted: Monday 20 April 2020, 09:52
Fire service colleagues from the six Fire and Rescue services across the East Midlands will be joining EMAS to commence training to support their response to COVID-19.
If the need arises in the coming weeks, fire service personnel will work alongside EMAS Urgent Care colleagues and will carry out support tasks such as driving Urgent Care vehicles and the safe moving and handling of EMAS patients.
Between 10 to 12 fire service colleagues have been requested by EMAS from each fire service in the EMAS region – Derbyshire, Humberside, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, as well as control room staff and members of their logistics teams.
EMAS Chief Executive Richard Henderson and several other colleagues are working closely with the Chief Fire Officers, and it is anticipated that many of the fire service colleagues supporting EMAS with COVID-19 will be on-call firefighters. All those joining will have volunteered to support EMAS.
EMAS Chief Executive Richard Henderson said: “We have always worked closely with our fire and rescue service colleagues at the many multi-agency incidents we attend, and in recent years this relationship has become even stronger thanks to blue light collaboration at some of our stations, for example Birstall in Leicester and South Park in Lincoln, Swadlincote in Derbyshire and Hucknall in Nottinghamshire.
“In addition to such collaboration, we already work closely with fire co-responder schemes across the region and have done for many years.
“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.”
Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Gavin Tomlinson said: “We are committed to supporting the emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic and are exploring different ways in which we can help our communities and assist partners such as our colleagues at East Midlands Ambulance Service.
“Over 162 members of staff came forward to volunteer to support EMAS and six of those have already undertaken their training and they are now ready, willing and able to assist driving urgent care vehicles should they be required. A further six volunteers are set to start their training in the coming week.
“Each and every one of us has a part to play in beating this virus and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service will continue to play its part wherever possible, whilst continuing to provide an emergency 999 response should we be needed.”
A two-day EMAS familiarisation training course has been created by East Midlands Ambulance Service’s education team, and the cohorts will be taught in small groups of six to allow for social distancing to be observed. The training will take place this week and next week at the Hazardous Area Response Team centre in Mansfield, and EMAS education and development centres in Northampton, Lincoln and Leicester.
Fire Service Personnel are already supporting colleagues in Yorkshire Ambulance Service and London Ambulance Service.
The first cohort of trainees from Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire with EMAS education team members.