Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service's vaccination and testing teamwork commended


Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s (NFRS) unfaltering commitment to support the rollout of the COVID-19 mass testing and vaccination programme, has been commended by the National Fire Chiefs Council.

Since the national programmes were announced, 30 NFRS staff have spent 4,397 hours supporting the vaccine rollout, administered more than 21,200 vaccinations (around 4,700 per week) and provided logistical support to facilitate the processing of 21,000 Lateral Flow Tests.

Nine staff members working as part of the 24-strong NFRS vaccination team have each administered over 1,000 vaccines, helping to bring the total number of UK Fire and Rescue Service vaccinations to almost 57,000.

As part of the mass testing commitment, a team of six has been instrumental in transforming libraries, leisure centres, pubs and football grounds into 10 dedicated Lateral Flow Test Centres and trained 178 individuals who have gone on to process almost 21,000 Lateral Flow Tests. Fire crews, support staff and members of the FRS’s Retired Members’ Association have also been getting involved, supporting with each site build.

Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, Roy Wilsher, said:

“The efforts of all FRSs in the rollout of both the national mass testing and vaccination programmes has been incredible, particularly Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue.

“The teamwork between current and former staff of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has been inspiring over the last few weeks, diligently working alongside partners to administer vaccines to some of the most vulnerable people in their communities, set up robust Lateral Flow Test centres and ensure there are enough people competently trained to carry out those vital asymptomatic tests. I’d like to thank them for their valuable contribution and for being ready, willing and able to play their part in the continued fight against COVID-19.”

In addition to the mass testing and vaccination support, NFRS has also delivered over 12,000 food and medical parcels, introduced a bespoke signposting and befriending service for 3,500 vulnerable people and worked with East Midlands Ambulance Service to carry out more than 1,000 patient journeys, since the start of the pandemic.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Chief Fire Officer, John Buckley, said:

“We’re really delighted to receive this recognition from NFCC. It is great to see our employees stepping up and coming together during these times. The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for us all, however I am proud of the Service for carrying on with their daily duties as well as undertaking additional tasks to keep our communities safe.

“We have 50 members of staff detached to support partner organisations, and it is rewarding to hear what they are achieving. Not only are we reaching great targets and even exceeding targets set by the Government, we have been receiving feedback on how hard our volunteers are working.

“I am proud of all our volunteers who have stepped forward, and of the whole organisation who are supporting them.”

Twenty-six UK Fire and Rescue Services and 886 staff are currently assisting the vaccination drive, with more than 49,000 hours of support given so far to the mass testing and vaccination programmes. More than 280 staff nationally are currently acting as vaccinators – with some services, like Nottinghamshire, having support staff, as well as firefighters, dedicated to the role full time. In the last week alone, FRS staff across the country have administered 15,295 vaccinations to the public. Additional efforts from services to support the vaccination effort includes logistical support, patient care and assisting on site at vaccination and test centres.

Recent figures from the NFCC show that since 25 January, 32,700 staff Lateral Flow Tests have been processed. Provided through local arrangements and with added provision from the Department of Health and Social Care – the tests are distributed via NFCC’s National Resilience (NR) function – enhancing the health surveillance of FRS staff, preventing asymptomatic transmission, whilst further enabling them to continue important COVID-related work - including supporting the nationwide vaccination programme.

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