New report highlights south west fire services’ COVID-19 support

A new report highlights the impact of multi-agency pandemic working undertaken by fire and rescue services (FRSs) across the south west of England – including frontline assistance provided to the ambulance service and the fitting of personal protective equipment.

From the end of January, the international spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus changed the way people lived their lives, but fire and rescue services stepped forward to support their communities and partner agencies through a nationally agreed Tripartite Agreement.

With our NHS and community care heroes facing unprecedented challenges from COVID-19 on the frontline, south west FRS chiefs are immensely proud of the contribution made by their staff across the region.

Not only did FRSs maintain a strong and resilient service to local communities and look after their own staff affected by the coronavirus, they also used their skills, resources and ‘can-do’ attitude to support the wider combined response.

Across the south west, the activities of all six fire and rescue services were carefully co-ordinated to ensure that the collective response was as effective and efficient as possible.

Staff worked together to develop consistent approaches and made sure that the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and communities was always at the top of the agenda.

Now, this new report showcases some of the work undertaken by fire and rescue services across the region to support their communities through such challenging times.   

It demonstrates why fire service chiefs are so proud of every single member of their fantastic staff and how they remain ready, willing and able to step up during times of national need.

Some key highlights from the report covering the period between the start of the national lockdown on 24 March and 21 May include:

·         More than 200 volunteers supported the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

·         15 ambulances crewed by FRS staff

·         2.5% weekly increase in ambulance capacity

·         75 immediately life-threatening (or ‘Category 1’) calls attended

·         More than 1,200 calls allocated to FRS-crewed ambulances

·         Two babies delivered

·         Nine million items of PPE delivered by FRS staff

·         One non-COVID-19 major incident dealt with


On behalf of NFCC South West, Chief Fire Officer Mick Crennell, said: “Our incredible teams have risen to the challenge yet again, using their skills and experience to support our fantastic NHS and healthcare colleagues who have been working non-stop during the pandemic. 

“As well as maintaining a full emergency fire and rescue service, our staff from across the whole region have worked incredibly hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and proudly assist our partners wherever we could.”

For the full report, visit