In just 48 hours after the government announced the acceleration of the national vaccination program, the fire and rescue services are already supporting the effort and have vaccinated hundreds of people.
Nearly half a million vaccines have been administered by fire and rescue service personnel this year – and that number is expected to skyrocket in the coming days as more services administer the boosters. Up to 2,500 fire and rescue service personnel could contribute to the effort, as the Prime Minister mentioned at yesterday’s press conference.
This is to help meet the government’s goal of providing anyone over the age of 18 with a booster by the end of the year.
Fire and rescue service staff operate four walk-in COVID-19 recall clinics and are proud to welcome NHS partners to county fire stations to support the recall program. These are about to move to seven days a week and are looking to operate 12 hours a day, to help support their partners.
300 vaccinations were delivered on the first day alone to a clinic and a number of stations to support the effort
An incredible 300 vaccines were delivered on the first day alone to one clinic and they are opening their doors at a number of stations to support the effort.
And at one station, three brother firefighters – Philip, Tom and John Benbow (with their father receiving his booster) – help at a Covid walk-in vaccination center to support the NHS. In addition, a community fire safety awareness vehicle was present to offer advice. Over 150 vaccines were administered there in a single day.
Deputy Chief of the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service Dan Quinn said: “People are already using the service and he hopes he can continue until the new year, as long as we need to help and deliver these vaccines.”
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service
In response to national guidelines for booster vaccinations, staff from the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service have re-engaged in the vaccination program. Since December 14, several firefighters, prevention and protection agents have returned to the sites to help, and others are ready to intervene in the department, in support of their partner organizations.
Fire Chief John Buckley said: “I am proud to announce that we have a number of staff who will be working in Nottinghamshire to help provide COVID-19 booster vaccines following government pressure to make everyone eligible for a booster, injected with ‘by the end of the year.”
“As a fire service, we want to be able to make a difference in our communities, and if that includes participating in responding to new variations, then we will do everything we can to help.”
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Also assigned staff to help, with more expected to join us over the next few days. South Yorkshire has also been working hard in vaccination centers.
New recruits who are expected to finish their course on Friday are now supporting the vaccination program New recruits who are expected to complete their course on Friday are now supporting the vaccination program, showing how nimble and flexible the fire and rescue services are.
They were due to open stations in the New Year, but were asked to volunteer to help with the vaccination effort – helping to protect and save lives.
Avon Fire and Rescue Service
The Avon Fire and Rescue Service has nine trained vaccinators who assist with the vaccination / booster program. And the Cleveland firefighters are also supporting the program with their trained staff with their “win a hit” campaign at area pop-up centers. To date, Cleveland had volunteered more than 10,000 hours for the pandemic.
Other service centers
The Cumbria, Tyne and Wear, Merseyside and Humberside Fire Departments are now asking their staff to step up again to help with this vitally important work while discussing the support they can offer with their partners.
Many other services are doing the same and we will likely see more fire and rescue services taking care of this work in the coming days.
The NFCC also encourages as many people as possible to get vaccinated National Fire Chiefs Council Chairman Mark Hardingham said: “It is amazing how in such a short time the fire and rescue services have stepped forward again and are now helping to protect people and our NHS. However, this is not surprising, as it is in the DNA of fire departments to offer help, where and when it is needed.”
“Once again, we see how dedicated our employees are to helping keep people safe. The NFCC has agreed with the government that we will offer this support to help the country through this difficult time and support this vital work to ensure that all eligible people are vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
The NFCC also encourages as many people as possible to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.