Page 11 - July 2020
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Service, we set up a twice weekly command planning group which, to extend the analogy, acted like an incident command cell and included key managers as well as comms and Trade Unions.
the tactical logistics and decision making required of the operation in many different ways.
They say necessity is the mother of invention and we quickly found
which meant twice that number of ambulances being available. As one would expect, there were a great many obstacles which had to be overcome very quickly which was only achieved because of the operational incident philosophy we had adopted. To date they have attended over 700 ambulance calls.
One morning, I had a call from a fellow Deputy Lieutenant who had brought together a group of people trying to make much needed theatre scrubs for Bedford Hospital. The problem, he explained, was the logistics of moving cloth and patterns between a large number of locations to be cut, sewn and ultimately delivered to where they were needed, a kind of networked factory based all over Bedfordshire. “Yes” I replied, “it’s what we do!!”. The Fire and Rescue Service provided vehicles, drivers and transport which delivered the work of that marvellous network of volunteer machinists who produced over 500 sets of scrubs to help protect the brave critical care staff at Bedford Hospital. To supplement this, very early on, our procurement and technical team worked to open supply chains for specific PPE for our staff and were so successful we were able, through the LRF, to supply additional PPE to Care Homes and chemists who were struggling to obtain what they needed.
In steady state we have a team of support staff who provide a falls response in collaboration with the East of England Ambulance Service. They informed the command group that they had
 We remain very involved with the LocalResilienceForum(LRF)and 12 Fire Service personnel were detached to form the command support cell for the LRF Strategic Command Group (SCG). On the one hand this presented the opportunity to actively support our community, whilst at the same time gathering wider intelligence to inform our decision making within service. In addition, our Deputy Chief Fire Officer carried out an effectiveness review of the LRF SCG which is supported by his ongoing daily participation in a national cross Government Foresight and Recovery Group. I also pay huge tribute to the two temporary Area Commanders who have worked tirelessly along with many colleagues to manage
ourselves developing ways to support other organisations by undertaking work we had not done before, as well as innovative ways to get done the normal things a Fire and Rescue Service has to do including finance, HR, payroll, occupational health, technical, premises maintenance and high risk prevention and protection work.
By the second week of April, following discussions and collaboration with the East of England Ambulance Service, we had trained nearly 30 Fire Fighters to be detached to drive ambulances. Of those, 19 were seconded which meant placing a Fire Fighter and a clinician on ambulances rather than crewing with two clinicians
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