There are approximately, 32,000 whole- time Firefighters currently employed in the UK. The majority of which hold basic first aid qualifications, with many holding further medical competencies, they have the skills, the ‘can do’ attitude, together with the resources (there are approx 1400 Fire Stations in England alone).
Whilst they have a major role in the Emergency Services, providing, Prevention, Protection and Response initiatives to Protecting the communities, they have the capacity to considerably contribute to the delivery of the vaccination programme in the UK.
The staff are trained in dealing with the public in anxious circumstances and would be exemplary professionals in this role. Whilst they have community initiatives to delivery, including Smoke Alarm installations, testing, Schools visits etc and thorough training regimes with their equipment, as stated, they most definitely have the capacity.
Due to educational safety initiatives, domestic smoke alarm installation, technology etc, the number of response calls has reduced dramatically over the years, the role of the Fire Service has expanded and diversified considerably, but what an opportunity this could be for the Fire Service to play a major role in the delivery of the vaccination programme. Apart from the roll out of training, there would be little cost to the Government.
In summary; the Fire Service has the skills, the capacity, the resources and the premises to deliver the vaccinations, quickly and professionally in this urgent and vital time to hopefully reduce and kill the pandemic.