Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service welcomes the latest HMICFRS report which was based around the fire and rescue services response to the COVID pandemic.
Since the pandemic was declared last year, the service has worked closely with the Lancashire Resilience Forum to help keep people in Lancashire safer from COVID-19 whilst ensuring that the service maintained its emergency response service. This was highlighted in the national report as the service dealt with the major incident following the moorland fires on Longridge and Darwen moors in May.
Working with partners, staff assisted in distributing essential PPE by taking delivery and dispatching essential supplies to local authorities to protect workers in priority services. The service provided face fitting of masks from our Training Centre, Fulwood Fire Station and Hyndburn Fire Station for NHS staff. There were over 30 staff members available to help fit P3 masks properly to hospital and social care workers to ensure they were fitted correctly with a proper seal.
During the first few months of the pandemic, our staff took delivery, packed and delivered food parcels to vulnerable people who were shielding during the first lockdown.
Staff also assisted in the temporary mortuary that was set up at BAE systems. Staff worked as fire safety regulators within the design and build team for the Lancashire Recovery Centre which was based at UCLan Sports Centre.
Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnston says:
“I am pleased that the report highlights the great work of our staff who have volunteered to assist with the COVID response. This will undoubtedly be the biggest incident that we will respond to in our careers and for all of us who have worked during this period, I hope we will be able to look back at this time with pride for what we have achieved.
“The safety of all staff is one of our key priorities and I am pleased that we have worked very closely with our local trade union representatives in pulling together a locally agreed risk assessment for the COVID activities that our staff have carried out. This includes starting the role out of lateral flow tests to staff at all of locations twice week.
“More recently, I have been inundated with thank you messages from the public and NHS staff who have seen our staff at vaccination sites across the county. Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service became the first fire and rescue service to assist in the delivery of vaccinations and within the last week, we had the first firefighters in the country administer a vaccine.
“I am so proud of everyone from the service who have been involved in our response to this terrible pandemic.”
- Our staff are now working at 22 sites 7 days a week including the new mass vaccination centre at Blackburn Cathedral.
- Staff have helped deliver over 51,000 vaccines to the most vulnerable people in Lancashire.
- The service has 224 volunteers from across the service ready to help in the vaccination programme.
- 35 members of staff have been repurposed to support the vaccination effort.