Buckinghamshire Fire Service's key role in setting up new vaccination centre

 Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has played a key role in helping to set up COVID-19 vaccination centres - in the heart of its community.

Buckinghamshire FRS, working closely with Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), has been supporting the preparations to set up three of the primary care network (PCN) sites for GP-led vaccination centres across Buckinghamshire, located at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury, Adams Park (Wycombe Wanderers FC) and High Wycombe Town Hall.

These three sites are an integral part of the delivery model to provide 650,000 vaccinations to protect the people of Buckinghamshire.

Stoke Mandeville Stadium will see up to 1,000 people a day receive the COVID-19 vaccination, across the 20 stations set up in its indoor bowls arena.

Since December, highly experienced commanders from Buckinghamshire FRS have been providing logistical support to ensure the centres can open, in line with NHS agreed protocols. 

Part of the response has been to use their wide range of experience of working in highly pressurised environments, helping to deliver essential vaccination to the most vulnerable people in their area.

This will play a key role in helping to realise the government’s target of providing two million vaccinations a week.

I know staff want to help – and are ready, willing and able to step up and be at the heart of the response.

CFO Jason Thelwell

Jason Thelwell, Chief Fire Officer for Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “I am incredibly proud of the work we have been involved with to support the response to the pandemic since March. The work on the setting up the vaccination sites - with other organisations - is a huge step to helping keep people safe in the fight against COVID-19.

“The experience and skills of firefighters and other FRS staff are first class and integral to supporting our communities, ensuring those who need our help, get it. I know they want to help – and are ready, willing and able to step up and be at the heart of the response.”

Crews also attended the two High Wycombe centres on Sunday 24 January to clear snow to help ensure they were able to remain open.

This is just one example of how the UK FRS is supporting the response to the pandemic; proving once again the UK FRS is working tirelessly in the heart of their communities; putting people who need help the most first.

The National Fire Chiefs Council has played a leading role in coordinating national work to support the pandemic – from delivering essential items, PPE, fitting face masks, driving ambulances, providing training to care homes and sadly assisting with the movement of bodies.

NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher commented: “The UK FRS will not stand back while the pandemic passes them by. Hundreds of thousands of additional activities have been undertaken by staff volunteering to do more; standing shoulder to shoulder with other blue light services, the NHS, care and health providers.

“This includes assisting with the vaccination work; integral to fighting the pandemic. Having fire and rescue service staff at the heart of the response is no surprise.”

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