FIREFIGHTERS in Warwickshire have been praised for their response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) has been commended in a letter from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), following a recent inspection.
HMICFRS said they were ‘impressed’ with how WFRS continued responding to emergency incidents while increasing the support available to help those most vulnerable in the community during the pandemic.
WFRS staff have provided a range of additional support during the pandemic, including making regular telephone calls to vulnerable people to check on their welfare, delivering food parcels, prescriptions and PPE to vulnerable residents, and transporting people from hospital to their homes.
The HMICFRS letter also praised the service’s continuity plans to operate safely and effectively during the pandemic, such as remote working practices, changing mobilising systems to ensure firefighters continue to be dispatched speedily to incidents, and using social media to communicate safety messages to residents.
Kieran Amos, Chief Fire Officer for WFRS, said: “We are delighted to have received this recognition from HMICFRS. I am so proud of our amazing people and how they have been going above and beyond to support our communities for almost a year now.
“We have worked tirelessly with partners, including county council colleagues, NHS and Warwickshire Police, to ensure that the most vulnerable in our communities are kept safe during the pandemic. To be recognised by HMICFRS is a great achievement and I hope it gives everyone in our service a boost to keep on going over these next challenging months.”
“In addition to caring for our community, we are also doing all we can to look after the health and wellbeing of our staff, so they can continue to deliver all of our services to our community. It has been exhausting keeping our emergency services going whilst supporting the Covid effort, but it has also been extremely gratifying.
“HMICFRS has now returned to WFRS for a full inspection of the whole service. We have so much more to tell them about all the great work we are doing to deliver the best possible services to our customers.
“For example, since our last inspection, WFRS is directly supporting Covid testing and vaccinations in Warwickshire. We are also assisting mortuaries, and local funeral director services.
“We’re particularly proud of our fantastic Hospital to Home service, which directly alleviates the pressure in our NHS hospitals by freeing up beds, while allowing us to ensure the outgoing patient is safely settled back into their home, with one of our ‘safe & well’ checks.”
Warwickshire County Council’s fire and rescue spokesman Coun Andy Crump said: “What we have heard from HMICFRS confirms what we already know – we have an excellent Fire Service, which we greatly value, and we know that our community feels the same.
“WFRS have stepped up to provide such great support to our community through the challenges of this pandemic, continuing to demonstrate their commitment to protecting our community, particularly the most vulnerable.
“It is vital that our residents feel safe, particularly in the midst of this pandemic, where so many vulnerable people, are more isolated and confined to their homes; so, ensuring our emergency services were maintained was our absolute priority. As ever, our Fire Service wanted to go the extra mile and offer whatever they could to protect our community and add to the wider Covid effort.
“We have also been investing in our Fire Service with two new training facilities in the county and another to follow. We are committed to firefighter safety and competency is a huge priority for us. The county council has also made significant investments in future proofing and improving our fire safety services, with a real focus on supporting local businesses.
“We are very excited about the future, as we feel the Fire Service is well placed to offer even more services in making Warwickshire be the best it can be.”