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Norfolk fire service in talks with ambulance colleagues

Norfolk fire service in talks with ambulance colleagues

Published by KLFM
2:10pm 27th March 2020.

Firefighters and paramedics could soon be working more closely together in Norfolk.

Norfolk's Chief Fire Officer and his team are working with colleagues at The East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) to identify ways fire service staff can support them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This morning, the National Fire Chiefs Council published a national agreement following discussions with Fire and Rescue Services and the Fire Brigades Union.

It paves for the way for the local discussions to identify areas where Norfolk's firefighters and other staff can best support blue light colleagues.

Norfolk's chief fire officer Stuart Ruff said: 

"We're now working with EEAST to understand what they need and how we can best support them while maintaining our own operational capabilities and ensuring the health and wellbeing of our own employees.

"One of those areas may be utilising the skills of our staff to assist in driving ambulances, but I must stress that no decisions have been taken locally at this stage. As a service, we are committed to doing everything we can to support the national and local response to the COVID-19 pandemic."   

Cllr Andrew Proctor, Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: 

"This is a really positive approach in the current challenging situation we face. I am very grateful to our fire and rescue service staff for doing everything they can, and more, to protect Norfolk's residents and communities."

Cllr Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships, said: 

"Our Fire and Rescue Service are on the front line every day and are committed to protecting Norfolk. Stepping forward to explore new ways to support their blue light partners in this time of crisis will benefit everyone. Maintaining our own operational response and the wellbeing of staff are the top priorities but the service will do all it can to offer assistance to other agencies."