Firefighters and fire staff have played a huge part in helping colleagues in the emergency services – by becoming ambulance drivers.
Craig Smith, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
Twenty-two Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service personnel have been trained by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to carry out support tasks such as driving urgent care vehicles and the safe moving and handling of patients.
The firefighters and fire support staff volunteered to provide this support, and are properly protected with the same personal protective equipment and the same infection control measures and access to vaccines as their EMAS colleagues.
Up to four staff each weekday are working at Northamptonshire ambulance stations, and of the 22 firefighters and staff trained, 14 have been carrying out regular shifts at least once and up to three times a week.
One of those is Craig Smith [pictured], a facilities technician with the fire service. After completing a two-day intensive training course, Craig has now managed eight shifts behind the wheel of an ambulance.
He said: “I wanted to do something for my community and if I can help in any way I will, because our colleagues at EMAS really deserve the support. I’m really proud to be doing this and representing the fire service as well.”
Craig, aged 46, is fitting in his extra shifts with EMAS while training to undertake a mammoth mountain climbing challenge in September in
aid of The Fire Fighters Charity.
Having had to postpone his initial plan to climb Kilimanjaro, Craig has brought a team of 10 together to climb even further – by scaling the UK and Ireland’s six highest peaks in a four-day period. You can contribute to his fundraising efforts by visiting www.5Plus1PeaksChallenge.co.uk