Fire service thanks volunteers for support during pandemic

Volunteers at Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

Volunteers at Avon Fire and Rescue Service. - Credit: Avon Fire and Rescue Service

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is taking the opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers in who have stepped up to support one another and the country during the coronavirus pandemic.

During National Volunteering Week, the annual event celebrates volunteers and says thank you to those who have contributed over the past year.

Since the height of the pandemic, alongside volunteers in the community, many AF&RS staff have stepped up to support the NHS in its fight against Covid-19, with staff from across the service stepping up to help drive ambulances, respond to emergency calls and marshal at vaccination centres across the local area       

Since the beginning of 2021, the service has crewed three ambulances 24/7, covering 707 12-hour shifts, spent 5,254 hours of those shifts providing active patient care and responded to more than 2,700 calls, including 501 category one calls.

Dave Hodges, Covid co-ordination team lead at AF&RS, said: “I’ve witnessed first-hand how tirelessly our staff and local volunteers have worked over the past year, from setting up mass vaccination sites, to assisting with patient care and marshalling at centres across the local area.

“Their time and commitment in assisting with the roll-out of the vaccination programme has made a huge difference to our communities, and has helped to support the NHS in its fight against Covid-19 and has helped save lives.”

Michelle Crossman, on-call firefighter at Yatton, and who volunteered to drive ambulances and provide patient care, added: “I couldn’t be prouder of volunteering during the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ve learnt a lot from my time with the ambulance service and it’s been an incredible experience.

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“As an on-call firefighter, I’ve spent a lot of time in the heart of the community and volunteering to support the NHS efforts during the pandemic was another way for me to support our communities.

"If you’re thinking of volunteering, I would say just go for it.”

AF&RS continues to support the ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic by providing marshals for vaccination centres, blue-light trained drivers to drive ambulances and training staff to become vaccinators.

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