Cambs fire and rescue show team spirit as they help vaccine rollout

Cambs fire and rescue staff have continued supporting NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG partners this week with the coronavirus vaccination rollout.

Cambs fire and rescue staff have continued supporting NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG partners this week with the coronavirus vaccination rollout. - Credit: Cambs fire and rescue

Vaccination sites around the county are being supported by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service staff pitching in to help with getting residents immunised against COVID-19. 

Staff from all areas of the service, from emergency call handlers and support staff to fire officers and both on-call and wholetime firefighters, have all been giving help at vaccination sites. 

When your county needs you, Cambs fire and rescue are there; this time helping the NHS with the vaccination rollout

When your county needs you, Cambs fire and rescue are there; this time helping the NHS with the vaccination rollout - Credit: Cambs fire and rescue

Group Commander Wayne Swales, the officer coordinating the support project, said: “The response from our staff has been really impressive so far. 

“It’s been great to see colleagues from different parts of the service wanting to get involved. We are really proud of our staff and what we have achieved already. 

“We’ve been asked to provide help in various ways. For example, assisting staff at some of the primary care network sites with things like marshalling in the car parks and showing patients where they need to go.  


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“We’ve also been helping with the setup of the two large-scale sites in Cambridge and Peterborough. Now these are open we’ll have volunteers at these centres giving support.” 

He said: “Staff volunteering so far have found the experience really rewarding.  

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“Many of the people coming to be vaccinated have been shielding in their homes for long periods, with a trip to be vaccinated their only reason for stepping outside.  

Masked and ready to serve - one of the Cambs fire and rescue service staff helping at centres around the county where the vaccination rollout is under way

Masked and ready to serve - one of the Cambs fire and rescue service staff helping at centres around the county where the vaccination rollout is under way - Credit: Cambs fire and rescue

“Being there for these residents, providing a friendly face and checking their welfare before and after getting their vaccine, really is fulfilling.” 

Dr Gary Howsam, chair of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s fantastic to get support from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service as the NHS delivers the biggest vaccination programme in its history.

Staff across all departments at Cambs fire and rescue are signing up to help at vaccination centres across the county 

Staff across all departments at Cambs fire and rescue are signing up to help at vaccination centres across the county - Credit: Cambs fire and rescue


“We wouldn’t be able to vaccinate our most vulnerable patients with the help from our volunteers and we’re incredibly grateful.” 

In the last week or so, the service has provided more than 400 hours of help to the vaccination programme across all the sites. These is in addition to ensuring there are enough crewed fire engines around the county. 

Wayne added: “Clearly we need to balance our core responsibilities as a fire and rescue service and helping with the national vaccination effort.  

“We’ve made sure that we have enough crews available to respond to emergencies while offering our partners this level of support. 

There's only one way to beat Covid-19 and Cambs fire and rescue service staff are doing their bit helping at vaccination centres.  

There's only one way to beat Covid-19 and Cambs fire and rescue service staff are doing their bit helping at vaccination centres. - Credit: Cambs fire and rescue

“The pandemic has presented us all with unprecedented challenges. Rolling out a vaccine to everyone around the country is massive challenge, so we are determined to pitch in and do our bit to help. 

“Our staff have already shown their enthusiasm and willingness to step forward and help their communities and will continue to support this vital programme over the coming months.” 

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