Firefighters trained to drive ambulances in Gloucestershire

South Western Ambulance Service has trained some firefighters from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service to drive and crew ambulances.

Two new ambulances that will be staffed by Gloucestershire firefighters to help relieve pressure on paramedics during the Covid-19 pandemic have arrived in the county.

It is part of a regional initiative that will see 15 new ambulances introduced to the South West.

Credit: Gloucestershire County Council

The ambulances will be crewed by one firefighter and one paramedic and will respond to a range of incidents. They will also be available to transfer patients to Nightingale hospitals.

The training is being undertaken in collaboration with neighbouring Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

It is hoped the firefighters will begin operational duty at the end of this week, with four firefighters seconded every 24 hours for an initial period of up to six weeks.

Adam Openshaw, head of community safety at GFRS, and Cllr Dave Norman, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member with responsibility for the fire and rescue service, said in a joint statement: “We appreciate how stretched the ambulance service is at the moment dealing with Covid-19 so we are pleased to help relieve some of the pressure on paramedics.

“This partnership is a good example of emergency services working closely together to help protect the communities we are proud to serve.

“Our committed teams of firefighters will be making sure the public are kept safe and that residents get medical care quickly when it is needed.”