In emergencies call 999

Firefighters to support ambulance colleagues during Coronavirus pandemic

Firefighters from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) will have the opportunity to assist partners in the ambulance service during the Coronavirus pandemic.

If required, crews will be able to deliver food and medicine to the most vulnerable members of the public, drive ambulances and assist in other tasks where required.

The support will not affect general fire service duties and maintaining a good level of fire cover across West Yorkshire will remain the highest priority for the service.

Any firefighters involved in coronavirus-related tasks will be trained and given the appropriate personal protective equipment.

Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “It’s part of a firefighters DNA to provide help during difficult times so we are pleased to support this way of working together with our fellow emergency services.

“We are already working at the heart of our local communities, and trained in things like driving emergency vehicles and responding to critical situations so we are well placed to deliver these additional tasks to help protect the most vulnerable.

“I’d like to assure the public that fire cover remains a priority for us as a service and we will continue responding to all core emergencies, such as fires and road traffic collisions. The additional services we undertake will be on top of our usual role keeping West Yorkshire safe.

“We will also continue to implement extra measures in place internally to protect the welfare of our staff as they respond to the new tasks and challenges at hand.

“Teamwork at a difficult time like this is essential, so we will work hard to support our partner agencies and fantastic communities through this pandemic.”

Chair of West Yorkshire Fire Authority Darren O’Donovan said: “I am extremely proud of our staff for agreeing to step into these new roles assisting the ambulance service.

“These are unprecedented times so I am enormously pleased that we can contribute in this way. We have highly dedicated and skilled staff that I know instil a sense of calm in communities with our presence.

“I’d like to go on record thanking all our teams for their continuing efforts, and to reassure the public we will continue working throughout the pandemic to keep West Yorkshire safe in any way we can.”