Ambulance chiefs are bracing for a wave of coronavirus cases over the next two weeks, and have asked the fire service for support in tackling the virus.
Interim chief fire officer Michael Graham for Northern Island said, adequate protective equipment is his main priority.
“We have committed to working with Northern Ireland Ambulance Service colleagues to scope out this work and by the end of this week we should be in a position to communicate what this may look like.”
He told his staff: “I am fully aware that any such support relies on you volunteering for these roles.”
Graham has asked those due to retire within the next six months to reconsider.
He said, “I know this is a big personal and financial decision for anyone to take but I would ask that you please consider if you could stay with us for another few months to help the organisation.”
He praised his colleagues and said, the “compassion, flexibility and teamwork” displayed was having a personal and professional impact.
He added, Ensuring our people are appropriately protected is my highest priority.
“Be assured that I am raising this through local government here in Northern Ireland on a daily basis and we are also trying to access other supply chains through our relationship within UK Fire and are working hard to ensure our people are prioritised for testing.
“These two areas will continue to be our focus over the next few days.”
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has thanked NHS health workers for the “selfless dedication” whilst we are in “testing times.”
In a rare statement, released on Tuesday morning the Monarch said, “On the occasion of World Health Day, I want to thank all those working in the healthcare profession for your selfless commitment and diligence as you undertake vitally important roles to protect and improve the health and well-being of people across the commonwealth, and around the world.
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