Hampshire and Isle of Wight FRSs ‘pulling out all the stops’ to support NHS colleagues 

National Fire Chiefs Council ChairRoy Wilsherhas praised the remarkable work of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service for supporting their local health colleagues, in the response to the pandemic 

 Staff have been “pulling out all the stops” to adapt Basingstoke Fire Station into a vaccination venue for those most at risk of catching the virus. Working alongside local health colleagues, FRS staff are carrying out vaccinations seven days a week to complement the GP-led vaccination provision and hospital services across Hampshire.  

A total of 60 personnel from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight fire services have so far been trained to become vaccinators at Basingstoke Fire Station and other vaccination centres throughout the two counties.    

Ten firefighters from Hampshire, including members of the service’s Urban Search and Rescue team, have also joined doctors and nurses at University Hospital Southampton’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to help treat patients with COVID-19. The firefighters volunteered to lend their specialist skills in the proning of patients - a vital technique that involves turning patients onto their front to relieve pressure on their vital organs and assist their breathing.

Meanwhile, an established co-responder scheme has built on existing partnerships to allow the FRSs to provide an enhanced response to life-threatening emergencies. 

Chair of the NFCC Roy Wilsher, said: “The compassion, care and commitment of staff has been second to none throughout the pandemicPersonnel from across Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Services have been helping to drivambulances, undertake vaccination training, respond to life-threatening medical emergencies as part of an enhanced co-responder scheme and perform other tasks to help the community, including grocery shopping and collecting prescriptions. 

Our staff have been incredible throughout, always going the extra mile, always putting their communities at the heart of everything they do.

CFO Neil Odin

Over the last few weeks, at a time when our NHS colleagues have been under the most extreme pressure, fire service colleagues have been pulling out all the stops. A huge thank you to them and everyone across the UK fire service for the huge difference you have and are continuing to make to your local communities, its why we joined, to save lives.” 

Neil Odin, Chief Fire Officer for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, added: “Since the start of the pandemic, like many other UK FRSs, we have gone over and beyond in the fight against COVID-19.  
“Ware incredibly humbled to be working closely with our friends and colleagues in the NHS and delighted that we are not only playing our part in the mass vaccination rollout but are also able to usour skills and expertise to help treat those who are very unwell in hospitalWe understand the importance of the life-saving work being undertaken in the ICU departments up and down the country so it was only natural that we would support the doctors and nurses carrying out this vital role. 
The last few months have been challenging but our staff have been incredible throughout, always going the extra mile, always putting their communities at the heart of everything they do. In return we continue to do all we can to support each other with our own health and wellbeing, ensuring staff receive the right help along the waywhen they need it most.” 

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