The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has praised the compassion, commitment and hard work of hundreds of UK Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) staff who have collectively administered more than 110,000 COVID-19 vaccines.
Firefighters and other staff have given more than 86,000 hours’ support for the vaccination programme, carrying out a total of 113,640 vaccines – that’s around one in every 240 administered.
An increasing number of FRS’s have assisted with the vaccination drive since January 2021, with some having staff dedicated to the role full time. Over the last week alone, more than 100 FRS staff have administered 19,522 vaccinations - which is the second highest number since support began.
And this figure is only set to grow as FRS staff will continue to support as people receive their second doses of the vaccination, meaning the figure could run into the millions.
It’s truly incredible that in just a matter of weeks, more than 113,000 vaccines have been administered by FRS staff alone. Merseyside, Nottinghamshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Lancashire, Tyne & Wear, Shropshire, Cheshire and Humberside FRSs have, so far, carried out thousands of vaccinations.
Chair of NFCC, Roy Wilsher, said: “Over the last few weeks, we have seen FRSs working tirelessly to set up vaccination sites, assisting with patient care and administering the vaccines. It’s truly incredible to think that in just a matter of weeks since the mass vaccination programme commenced, more than 113,000 vaccines have been administered by FRS staff alone.
“It seems to me that no matter what the challenge is, FRS staff are ready, willing and able to assist wherever their help is needed. There is no doubt that the public too are very proud of everything their local fire and rescue service continues to achieve.”
Additional efforts from staff to support the vaccination effort includes logistical support, patient care and assisting on site at vaccination and test centres.
Support for the vaccination programme has been in addition to mass testing and other tasks to assist the Covid-19 response, all these carried out whilst the FRS continues to provide its usual excellent fire and rescue service to local communities.
Fire Minister Lord Greenhalgh added: "Our Fire and Rescue Services have supported the nation’s response to the pandemic, from driving ambulances to helping at vaccination and testing centres. “I am grateful for their incredible contribution in helping to administer over 100,000 vaccines to people across the UK, supporting the NHS and protecting their local communities. “I know our Fire and Rescue Services will continue to step up and do all they can to protect the British public.”