East of England Ambulance Service thanks Herts and Essex fire crews for support
The ambulance service for Hertfordshire and Essex has thanked firefighters for their support during the height of the coronavirus pandemic – which amounted to the equivalent of 12 years' service.
Crews from Herts, Essex, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk fire and rescue services volunteered to drive front-line ambulances from April to August, freeing up paramedics to focus on life-saving care.
Together they provided 41,519 hours of support, which is the equivalent of 3,610 12-hour shifts or enough staff to run 1,805 ambulances.
The firefighters were already trained to drive on blue lights, but took part in a specially-developed induction before joining East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST), which included familiarising them with the vehicles and equipment, and learning basic life support and safe moving and handling skills.
During the past few months, they have helped with everything from delivering babies to responding to road crashes. Many have pledged to continue to work with the service in the future on projects to further enhance patient care.
Marcus Bailey, chief operating officer with EEAST, said: “We are very grateful to our blue-light colleagues in the fire and rescue service for the incredible support they have given us over the past few months. It's been a true demonstration of the emergency services at their best and saw us come together at the public’s time of need to meet this national emergency head on.
“Our partners in the fire service played a really important role in helping us to keep our patients, staff, volunteers and the wider public safe, and we’d like to say a huge thank you to them for their hard work and dedication.”
EEAST also received support during the pandemic from the armed forces.