More than 60 Norfolk firefighters are to start driving ambulances across the county from Monday to help relieve pressure on paramedics during the coronavirus outbreak.
All of the staff are employed as on-call firefighters and responded to a plea by chief fire officer Stuart Ruff to help the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST). All staff put forward to help are already blue light trained Emergency Fire Appliance Drivers and will drive frontline emergency NHS ambulances alongside EEAST paramedics.
Two of Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service’s driving instructors have already been using one of the service’s non-operational lorries to move NHS supplies around Norfolk to ensure PPE equipment and ventilators are in the right places to support NHS colleagues in their duties.
The move to the frontline work follows a national agreement reached on Friday 27 March about utilising firefighters across the country to support the work of the NHS.