South Yorkshire’s firefighters will be able to deliver food and drive ambulances in order to support their communities during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
This comes following an unprecedented national agreement that has been struck by fire chiefs, national employers and representative bodies such as the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
Crews will also be able to retrieve dead bodies, as part of the deal, whilst continuing to do their core duty – responding to emergency incidents such as fires and road traffic collisions.
The additional work will be co-ordinated and done in conjunction with the South Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum – with the temporary agreement lasting for an initial two-month period.
“As a service we are here to make South Yorkshire safer and stronger. We could not be more willing, and able, to help out in any way we can during these extremely challenging times,” said Chief Fire Officer, Alex Johnson.
“Our firefighters are trained to an extremely high standard. They have a huge amount of experience in driving blue light vehicles and are very well respected in their local communities. I’m hugely proud of them all and know they will do a fantastic job if called upon.
“When this is over, and it will be over, we want to know that we did everything we could to support our communities. Now, more than ever, is the time to come together. It is great to see that the three groups, nationally, have done exactly that.”
Any extra activities that firefighters are asked to undertake will be done on a voluntary basis and will be fully risk assessed – with crews being given any necessary training and personal protective equipment.