Over 200 staff from across South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have volunteered to support their communities and blue light colleagues by offering support including driving ambulances over the past six months of the pandemic.
Since last summer 33 firefighters from across the Service have completed the specialist training programme and have been actively supporting our communities and 999 family as part of the Covid-19 response. This deployment requires personnel to complete a joint course facilitated by the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust (WAST). This has involved driving ambulances, Rapid Response Vehicles (RRV’s) and offering support to paramedics and ambulance technicians when needed. All of the volunteers are serving firefighters who have extensive first aid, trauma care qualifications and experience. Together they have undertaken over 300 shifts and counting.
Chief Fire Officer Huw Jakeway QFSM said: ‘We are working in partnership with the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, along with all blue light emergency services, across a wide range of areas to ensure the very best level of protection, prevention and response our communities. I am extremely proud of those who have stepped forward to offer support to WAST and our NHS colleagues during these unprecedented and challenging times. The safety of our staff is vitally important and we are working closely with The National Fire Chiefs Council to ensure all risk assessments clearly set out how we will keep our people safe while carrying out this work.’
The health and safety of those assisting is paramount and they will now be programmed to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations. This support will be delivered in the existing spirit of partnership and collaboration shared across the emergency service family in Wales. Together we are united in our dedication to be there for our communities and keep the people we serve safe.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are continuing to closely monitor all guidance and advice issued by the Welsh Government, UK Government and Public Health Wales in relation to the Covid-19.