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20-11-20

NFCC fully supports Fire & Rescue Services assisting in mass vaccination roll out

The National Fire Chiefs Council is fully supportive of firefighters assisting with the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Our COVID Lead Phil Garrigan spoke to Sky News about how fire services could support the roll out.

According to reports, the Department of Health and Social Care will be asking retired healthcare professionals, workers with first aid skills – such as firefighters - to help deliver and administer the vaccines.

This is on the back of a consultation carried out by the government to support the rollout of COVID-19 and flu vaccinations. This will allow a wider range of people to be able to administer these - following training.

With almost 23,000 wholetime firefighters across England alone, there is a real opportunity for Fire and Rescue Services to play a key role in helping to deliver and administer vaccinations across the entire UK. There are an additional 12,498 on-call firefighters.

According to the consultation, there would be a new national protocol, which will allow people who are not registered health care professionals, to safely administer a COVID-19 or influenza vaccine.

NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher said: “NFCC is hugely supportive of fire and rescue services helping to roll out a vaccination programme across the UK.

“We have thousands of firefighters who are ready, willing and able to take on more in the fight against COVID-19. Firefighters cover the entire country and are well placed to assist with this vital activity and reduce the devastating ongoing impacts of the pandemic.”

 NFCC has made it clear the health and safety of all staff is paramount to every Chief Fire Officer, all of whom take this duty of care very seriously.  Firefighters would be not asked to do this until the correct training and risk assessments were put in place.

 To date Fire and Rescue Services have delivered: 111,000 essential items delivered to the most vulnerable people;  assembly of 68,135 single use facemasks; 25,000 deliveries of PPE; 4,135 face masks fitted for frontline NHS and clinical care staff; training for staff to drive ambulances; 22,500 food parcels were packed; assisting with taking more than 1,000 antigen samples; transported 1,446 COVID patients and 3,337 non-COVID patients to hospital, and assisted with the movement of more than 2000 bodies.

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