1. ITV Report

Firefighters in region could deliver food, drive ambulances and retrieve bodies

Credit: PA

Firefighters in the region could soon be used to carry out extra roles such as driving ambulances, delivering food and medicine and moving bodies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under a new crisis agreement, crews will be able to carry out essential public services to assist other blue light and civilian organisations.

The plan, agreed by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), fire chiefs and employers, will see firefighters maintain core services such as attending fires and road traffic accidents, but also providing extra services as coronavirus continues to spread.

It will run for two months but can be extended if necessary and could affect the UK’s 48,000 firefighters and emergency control staff.

Craig Srinkald from Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service says the plans have been welcomes by him and his colleagues. He said: "It will be on a voluntary basis. Firefighters always want to help other people, that's what we do we help people in need.

"There have already been some stations that have come forward asking if they can be involved in this. It's really pleasing to see that national position has come out and given everybody a bit of guidance.

"Hopefully it will make things better for people who are really going to need it in our community."

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