Fighting a pandemic as well as fires

They are known for fighting the flames but fire service staff have today been praised for fighting Covid-19 – after revealing they have administered 40,000 tests and vaccinations.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have been working closely with partners throughout the pandemic to help keep the public safe from the virus.

Firefighters and non-operational staff have helped operations with the Nightingale Hospital and the vaccination centre at Newcastle Racecourse.

The Service have also used their headquarters in Washington and their station in Gateshead to hand out lateral flow tests.

And today (Friday) they have revealed they have administered more than 22,000 tests and in excess of 18,000 vaccinations.

They continue to work alongside colleagues in local authority, voluntary organisations, and the wider health sector to deliver the national campaign.

And today Deputy Chief Fire Officer Peter Heath, who led the response for TWFRS, has said the figures show the importance of working collaboratively with key partners to keep the community safe.

He said: “We are committed to creating the safest community and play an integral part in the humanitarian response across our region.

“Prior to the pandemic we already worked closely with the health sector but when the Government introduced the testing and vaccination programme we made sure we stepped up.

“This kind of life-saving response is a key function of the fire and rescue service and I am incredibly proud of every firefighter, staff member and volunteer who has been involved.

“Many of our staff have stepped up to support the campaign alongside their day to day roles which is testament to their passion for community safety.

“We will continue to do our bit to beat Covid-19 and hope the level of our response reassures those people who call Tyne and Wear home.”

TWFRS have revealed that they have administered 22,125 lateral flow tests and 18,510 vaccines to members of the public.

TWFRS are still offering the opportunity to collect Lateral Flow Home Testing kits from their Headquarters site.

You can collect tests on Mondays and Thursdays, between 9am and 12 noon at Service Headquarters in Washington.