London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade announce blue light partnership to tackle COVID-19
London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade have announced a new partnership to boost the COVID-19 emergency response which will see firefighters helping with a number of roles across the ambulance service.
Under the new agreement, up to 300 staff from London Fire Brigade (LFB) could drive ambulances and assist paramedics as directed. The new plan follows a national agreement between the National Employers, National Fire Chiefs Council and the Fire Brigades Union to support local authorities and the NHS, including ambulance services.
Chief Executive of London Ambulance Service, Garrett Emmerson said: “We have a fantastic ongoing relationship with London Fire Brigade and regularly collaborate closely in a number of ways – whether that be co-responding to road traffic collisions and house fires, or our medics training fire crews to administer CPR and a use a defibrillator if they are first on scene at a cardiac arrest.
“This new agreement with LFB comes at a time when we and the rest of the NHS are facing the biggest public health challenge in our history.
“We are already dealing with unprecedented levels of demand as a result of COVID-19 – more than 11,000 people are calling 999 for an ambulance every day – and we know the peak of the pandemic is still to come. As part of our preparations we must reach out to all our partners to help boost our response so we can continue to treat every patient who needs us during this difficult time.”
London Fire Brigade Commissioner Andy Roe said: “We are committed to doing all we can to support a joint emergency response in the capital to Covid-19. Within hours of us agreeing the detail of how we can support London Ambulance Service and NHS partners, we had hundreds of firefighters step forward to volunteer.
“We’ve changed our operations to reduce non-critical training and some of the community safety work that we can’t do at this time, in order to maintain our operational resilience and provide support such as this for however long the situation lasts.”
Last week, SHP reported that Firefighters had issued an urgent #StayHomeStaySafe advice as millions of people work from home amidst the coronavirus pandemic.