Firefighters in Oxfordshire volunteer to support South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS)

Firefighters in Oxfordshire have volunteered to support South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) with their response to emergency calls.

This is in response to the coronavirus pandemic and following a national agreement between The Fire Brigade’s Union, the National Employers and the National Fire Chief Chief’s Council,

Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service staff, who have volunteered to assist their blue light partner, will be using their emergency response driving capability and their medical skills to support SCAS personnel to respond to emergency calls.

They will be trained to respond to all emergency calls under the supervision of a SCAS team member and will have all the necessary PPE to protect themselves.

Oxfordshire’s Fire Brigade’s Union have been very supportive and have assisted the service to develop this initiative.

Steve Wright, from Oxfordshire’s Fire Brigade’s Union, said: “The FBU are aware of the challenges that all of us are facing during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are committed to protecting our members and the communities we serve. Our communities are pulling together to get through this period of uncertainty and so are Oxfordshire’s emergency services.

“The FBU are grateful to Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service’s Gold Command Team, who have worked tirelessly with SCAS to ensure our Firefighters who are supporting the Ambulance service, will have the appropriate training and PPE. We’re all here to protect our residents and to do this, we must ensure the safety of personnel is a top priority.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Jo Bowcock, from Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are pleased to offer support to a blue light partner in order to better protect and respond to the needs of our communities during such an unprecedented time.

“Our ability to release a small number of people is only possible as a result of the collaborative work with the local Fire Brigades Union and the commitment of our firefighters to keeping fire engines available. We also recognise the dedication of our fire and rescue support staff to keep our critical services available.”

Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service have stated their priority is to continue to provide a first class emergency response to local communities.