Covid one year on - Bedfordshire fire chief pays tribute to staff who "dared to be different" and adapted during crisis
Firefighters supported ambulance service during pandemic and helped set up vaccine centres
As Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service looks back over the last 12 months, it's produced a video to showcase its work.
Since March 2020, staff from the service have been providing vital support to the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), seconding more than 30 firefighters to drive ambulances across Bedfordshire.
Firefighters willingly stepped forward to volunteer to support EEAST and have also helped with the Falls Service helps those that have fallen in their homes.
Most recently, the service has also supported the NHS by setting up six new vaccine centres across Bedfordshire. These are running seven days a week and opening 12 hours a day.
Paul Fuller, BFRS fire chief said: “It has been important for us in this time of crisis to step up and ‘dare to be different’ which is one of our key values.
"I pay huge tribute to our staff who have stepped forward to volunteer to support EEAST. We have the skills and experience to support our colleagues and for us to work alongside paramedics to respond to 999 calls, as well as being the first on scene for medical emergencies and falls, which we have been doing over the past year.
“Our firefighters are blue light trained to drive frontline emergency ambulances which frees up paramedics to care for patients.
"Our staff have been trained by EEAST, which included familiarising them with EEAST’s vehicles and equipment as well as life support and safe moving and handling skills. This ensures they are skilled enough to help treat and transfer patients. We will continue supporting our EEAST colleagues and ‘daring to be different’ during this difficult time.”