Blue light services pull together for whole of Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 18:21 18 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:21 18 April 2020
Emergency services in Norfolk have committed to new ways of working together and sharing resources to fight the current pandemic and keep the county’s communities as safe as possible.
Their commitment to mutual support has stepped up a gear in recent weeks but has now been cemented by the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding, which defines how the services can best jointly support Norfolk’s communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Norfolk’s chief fire officer Stuart Ruff said: “We have never been more committed to working as one blue light family. This pandemic has drawn on us all to make the most of Norfolk’s emergency resources to support our communities in every way we can to best protect the public and keep people safe during this crisis. We will do whatever we can to support ambulance and police colleagues by taking on some additional duties while maintaining our own effective emergency response on the front line.”
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Changes already in place, as part of a national agreement, include the use of firefighters driving ambulances for the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) which started a fortnight ago and using large lorries to transport critical NHS medical supplies around the region so that hospitals and additional ambulances have all the kit required.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey said: “There is already a close bond between emergency services in Norfolk and in any major incident, we work together for a common purpose; which is helping people. It is essential our organisations maintain the ability to respond to the public whenever and wherever they need us in an emergency and this agreement strengthens that relationship even further.”
Marcus Bailey, chief operating officer with EEAST, said: “We are very grateful to our blue light colleagues and look forward to working closely with them to keep our patients, staff, volunteers and the wider public safe during this pandemic. Covid-19 represents an unprecedented challenge for all of us and we truly appreciate the fantastic support we have received from our blue light partners, the public, businesses and other partners.”
Norfolk County Council’s leader Andrew Proctor, described it as a “shining example of our blue light services pulling together for the whole of Norfolk”.
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