As the efforts to vaccinate people are ramped up across the country, FIRE Correspondent Catherine Levin takes a look at fire and rescue services’ evolving response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘We ask you to find as many volunteers across your service as possible and to encourage them to support mass testing and vaccination efforts across the country’
This is the clarion call from the Home Secretary and Fire Minister, writing to chief fire officers last month. It is an upbeat letter with plenty of recognition of the efforts by fire and rescue services to support their local communities in the myriad ways set out in the tripartite agreements and beyond. It concludes: ‘I know you will do all you can to ensure fire and rescue services play their part in responding to [the pandemic]. On behalf of the British people, we thank you’.
The timing is interesting, as will become clear below.