Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service receives award from the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Image BFRS

Outstanding Service to the Community Award for support given to East of England Ambulance Service

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Services (BFRS) has received an Outstanding Service to the Community Award from Susan Lousada DL, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire.

BFRS was nominated for the award by Simon King, from the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) for its support to ambulance service over the past year.

Susan Lusanda DL, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire said:

“As High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, it is my absolute pleasure to recognise Bedfordshire Fire Service with an Outstanding Service to the Community Award.

“The role played by the Fire Service during this pandemic has been astounding. You have provided practical help to the local community and significantly supported the East of England Ambulance Service allowing them to focus on carrying those patients suffering from COVID-19, all while continuing your vital role of keeping us safe and responding to incidents.

“I wish to thank all those within the Fire Service for their dedication and commitment this year. It has been a difficult year for so many reasons, in particular the added stress of balancing the pressure of work with family needs has been tough.

“However the Fire Service has definitely risen to the challenge. I would also like to personally thank Chief Fire Officer Mr Paul Fuller CBE for his exemplary leadership during this time, not only within the service but throughout our community.

“The people of Bedfordshire are so proud of the role that Bedfordshire Fire Service has played in helping us to tackle this pandemic. This award, I hope goes some way to show just how grateful we all are.”

The nomination from EEAST was for a number of joint activities:
The service has collaborated with EEAST on many different projects. These initiatives have meant BFRS staff working in completely new roles and outside their previous experience and volunteering as pioneers.
For example, BFRS provided over 30 seconded firefighters to drive ambulances across Bedfordshire. Between April-December firefighters worked over 1733 hours and covered frontline (1480 shifts). BFRS is the only fire and rescue service across the region to maintain its support to EEAST during this challenging time, with supporting being continued to date
In March 2020 a new Falls Service team was established. This team responds to vulnerable people who fall in their homes and require assistance post fall. This team has responded to over 100 calls.
In August a new Technical Support Unit, based at Dunstable Fire Station. This was the first of its kind in the country. This vehicle responds to Bariatric and complex patient incidents where emergency removal of a patient is required to support EEAST.
Fire fighters form Harrold, Potton and Leighton Buzzard have stepped forward to support the local community and have now started to provide a medical responding model. This has provided a first line medical response in the community and the teams have been deployed to patients in cardiac arrest.
Paul Fuller, chief fire officer said:
“I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of the Fire Service. This has been an outstanding partnership over the past year and we intend to continue to develop and strengthen this relationship further.
“By working together we can offer a valuable joined up emergency service ensuring that we keep more ambulances on the road.”
Simon King, from EEAST said:
“Staff from BFRS truly have stood by the services values and have dared to be different to help support the Ambulance Service and the NHS during this increased time of pressure.
“I look forward to continuing this fantastic partnership with the BFRS in the future and we have more initiatives planned to strengthen our partnership further.”