AF&RS reinstates their support for SWASFT

Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) is once again providing additional support to South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT), in light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Beginning in November, for a four month period, AF&RS will be resuming the provision of drivers for ambulances, continuing their support for their emergency service colleagues.

For an 18 week period, in response to the initial Coronavirus outbreak, staff from across the Service provided over 230 shifts driving ambulances and responded to over 700 incidents.

The collaboration follows a now long standing agreement between the National Employers, National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) to support local authorities and the NHS.

Chief Fire Officer, Mick Crennell said: “We are pleased to be in a position where we can once again support and offer mutual aid to SWASFT.

“During the first wave of Coronavirus, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both our ambulance colleagues and staff who volunteered to put themselves forward to help during these unprecedented times.

“It’s really important that we continue to work together where we can.  Here at Avon Fire & Rescue Service we very much look forward to supporting our colleagues and communities through these trying times.”

Chair of the Fire Authority, Donald Davies said “I am extremely proud of our staff for once again coordinating an approach so that we can support SWASFT while still delivering on our Fire Service duties.

“Many members have put in extra hours and/or quickly learned new skills so we can work in collaboration and keep our communities safe. 

“We ask that during this time our communities continue to follow the government guidelines and stay safe at home throughout the lockdown.  We also ask that you support our key workers and find safe alternatives to home bonfires and firework displays”.     

Will Warrender, Chief Executive of SWASFT, said: “We are delighted to have secured a second agreement with our fire service partners to work together during what we expect will be a challenging winter.

 “We collaborate closely with the fire services every day when we co-respond to road traffic collisions, property fires and various other types of emergencies.

 “This strategic partnership will significantly benefit our response to Covid-19 and our overall care to patients throughout the South West.”