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Our response to coronavirus (Covid-19)

How we're working

We are continually monitoring and managing the impact of coronavirus on our staff and communities, so that we continue to deliver our frontline services.

We are closely monitoring the latest Government guidelines and have been making some changes to the way we do things to protect our frontline services.

We have taken the following steps to protect our staff and communities:

  • Increased home-working for our support staff
  • Restricted access to stations to station staff only
  • Cancelled all community events and station visits
  • Cancelled educational talks but please see our online resources
  • Cancelled the fire cadets programme at fire stations

Supporting our partners

We are ready and willing to assist our partners to help manage the impact of the pandemic on our communities. For example, we have staff who are helping the ambulance service by driving frontline ambulances. Our staff have also helped with the set-up of a mass vaccination centre, fitting of PPE for NHS and clinical support staff, and delivering essential items to vulnerable residents.

We will support wherever risk and resources allow. The safety of our staff is vitally important to us and we have measures in place to keep our people safe when performing these roles while still being able to maintain our emergency response cover. This includes regular lateral flow testing and aligning any testing with that of the partner organisation we are supporting. To keep our staff safe, we use the National Fire Chiefs Council's risk assessments and guidance from Public Health England.

Ambulance driving

From 7 December - 3 January (inclusive), our ambulance driving firefighters dealt with:

  • 444 emergency calls, of which
  • 84 were Category 1 calls (urgent or life-threatening illnesses or injuries)
  • 197 Category 2 calls (emergency calls)
  • We spent a total of 758 hours actively engaged at incidents
  • And we saved the life of 1 person in cardiac arrest.

how we have helped the ambulance service statistics

What you can do to help

Keeping yourself safe

Help us by taking some simple steps to protect yourself and others, such as:

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, and test your smoke alarms once a week.
  • Ensure your chimney has been swept before lighting your fire or stove. Find out more about chimney safety
  • Make sure your electrical equipment is safe.
  • Avoid having bonfires. If you can't avoid having one, please use an incinerator if you can, and make sure you light it well away from anything that could burn such as sheds, fences and your home. Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby, and never leave it unattended.
  • If there is heavy rain, ice or flooding, slow down your driving. Never drive through floodwater.

Keeping our crews safe

If you see firefighters at an incident, please remember the rules around social distancing and try to stay at least two metres away.

Fire safety at home and in the community

You can find safety advice on a variety of topics on our website in our safety information.

We will continue to carry out free home safety visits for our most at-risk households. Our friendly home safety advisers will follow the latest guidance and take steps to keep you safe, like sanitising their hands before entering your home, wearing a face covering and observing social distancing.

We are also able to help you with fire safety advice over the phone on 0800 05 02 999.

Advice for businesses

We are committed to supporting businesses during these unprecedented times. Whilst we cannot manage fire safety and the associated risks for you, we can provide help and advice to enable you to maintain your fire safety duties and responsibilities.

Read our latest advice on how to ensure the ongoing safety of your premises during coronavirus.

If you would like to speak to a fire safety officer, please contact our helpline on 01392 872567 Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm or email firesafetyhelpdesk@dsfire.gov.uk.


Advice and guidance from other organisations

Donations

If you would like to make a financial donation please see the Firefighters Charity website.

If you are thinking of making a donation of equipment to the Service during the current situation then please get in touch with your Local Resilience Forum who are managing these requests.

 

stay home, save lives


Last updated: 15 January 2021

 

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