LFRS named Emergency Service of the Year

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Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) has been named FIRE Magazine’s Emergency Service of the Year.

As part of the Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards, the prestigious Emergency Service of the Year accolade was awarded to LFRS for being at the forefront of the country’s fire sector response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, over 220 LFRS staff carried out additional activities, going above and beyond to keep communities within Lancashire safe.

In April 2020, over 30 staff provided face fitting for P3 masks to hospital and social care workers. Others were out and about across the region for the first few months of the first lockdown, distributing food parcels to vulnerable people who were shielding.

Meanwhile, essential PPE equipment including, aprons, gloves, eye protection and masks, were distributed to those who needed it most, including nursing and care homes.

Some LFRS staff assisted with the set up of the temporary mortuary at BAE systems whilst many others worked as fire safety regulators within the design, and build a team for the Lancashire Recovery Centre, based at the University of Central Lancashire’s Sports Centre.

In December 2020, LFRS was the first Fire & Rescue Service in the UK to roll out Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) to its staff. Best practice was shared with other Fire Services in the UK to assist them in the swift rollout of their LFTs.

Later that month, LFRS led the way in assisting the NHS with the start of the country’s mass vaccination programme, by providing marshals to keep the older and more vulnerable people safe and warm at vaccination sites.

This support extended in January 2021, with the Service proudly becoming the first Fire & Rescue Service to assist the NHS with our fully trained COVID-19 vaccinators. Between them, they administered over 50,000 vaccinations.

A total of 328 members of LFRS staff have supported the delivery of nearly 500,000 vaccines, at 22 sites across Lancashire, through marshalling and vaccinator roles. All this fantastic work happened while LFRS continued to provide its excellent operational response to local communities.

Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnson, who collected the trophy along with other members of the LFRS team, said:

“I am delighted that the Service won Emergency Service of the Year. It truly is deserved, and every member of the Service has contributed to this fantastic achievement.

“From attending challenging operational incidents to the incredible work of our support staff and fire safety teams, whilst not forgetting our staff who have led and supported the response to coronavirus over the last two years.

“Thank you to all of you for helping Lancashire achieve this award.”

Throughout the pandemic, LFRS also attended two major incidents including, large wildfires in summer 2020 and a tragic gas explosion in Morecambe, in which a young boy sadly died.

“Firefighters and fire staff across the country have worked incredibly hard to support the coronavirus response, and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is an

exceptional example.During his recent visit to Lancashire, the Minister for Fire Lord Stephen Greenhalgh said:

“By doing so, they have shown that those in fire services are ready, willing and able to go above and beyond to keep the British public safe, once again demonstrating they truly are the very best of us.”“The team in Lancashire has led the way, becoming the first fire service in the country to assist the NHS with the distribution of the vaccine and fully train their staff as vaccinators.

An honour, last held by Derbyshire FRS in 2019, the Emergency Service of the Year gong was one of 16 Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards handed out on Friday 3 December in London, as part of FIRE Magazine’s inaugural annual event.