These are in addition to other activities already agreed in a ground-breaking agreement between the National Fire Chiefs Council, the national employer and the Fire Brigades Union.

The three organisations agreed the additional activities earlier today:

  • Assisting in taking samples for Covid-19 antigen testing
  • Driving ambulance transport not on blue-lights (excluding known Covid-19 patients) to outpatient appointments or to receive urgent care
  • Driving Instruction by FRS driver trainers to deliver training for non-service personnel to drive ambulances (not on blue lights)

NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher said: "Once again, we see our fire and rescue services staff being ready, willing and able to take on additional work to support the response to COVID-19.

"Their dedication and commitment is outstanding. Staff want to be at the heart of the response, using their wide range of skills and capabilities. Services want to support communities across the UK, which the public quite rightly expect us to do.

"By working together, we are playing our part in supporting the COVID-19 response and making sure we can offer a world-class response to the public, the health service and other partners.

"We look forward to carrying out this work, while continuing to respond to major incidents and carrying out other vital work, including core duties.

Other work being carried out by fire and rescue service staff includes: Carrying out face fitting for masks (to be used by frontline NHS and clinical staff); delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies; assisting the ambulance service with driving and patient/ambulance support; moving deceased people and supporting the most vulnerable through deliveries.