Fire Service shortlisted for national awards

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Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (FARS) has been recognised for its work during the COVID-19 pandemic by being nominated for three national awards.

The service has been shortlisted for the Frontline Risk Award, Partnership Award and the Professional of the Year Award at this year’s ALARM Risk Awards.

The awards celebrate achievements in risk management and acknowledge the work of risk and insurance practitioners across a number of categories. The awards will also recognise the hard work, long hours, agile thinking, and collaborative working, that has underpinned the past two years of managing risk and building resilience in a pandemic.

The first award in which the service has been shortlisted for is the Frontline Award.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service were nominated by University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust for their role in delivering medication to those identified ‘at-risk’ during the pandemic.

FARS offered its support to the local NHS Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust to deliver oral anti-viral medicines as no medication home delivery service was in place at the time from the Trust.

The Staffordshire Covid Medicines Delivery Unit (CMDU), supported by FARS, provided this service for six months, aimed to significantly improve clinical outcomes in non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19 and those identified at high risk.

Over 400 patients benefitted from oral medicines home delivered by FARS.

The second award in which FARS has been shortlisted for is the Partnership Award.

FARS worked alongside a number of partners including the NHS, Staffordshire Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, on a number of initiatives to help bridge gaps in the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in communities in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Data suggested ethnicity, deprivation and disability were the biggest barriers in vaccination uptake.

Fire crews/firefighters took the lead on logistical support and worked with the NHS in accessing groups located at fruit farms, faith centres and traveller communities. FARS also visited high schools to administer vaccinations.

The involvement of FARS enabled the multi-agency partnership to deliver targeted vaccinations at over 30 accessible sites and to administer over 2.3 million vaccinations across Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire. The service is continuing to work with the NHS to support vaccine clinics for not only COVID but also Flu. .

Dr Paddy Hannigan, Clinical Lead at the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent STP Coronavirus Vaccination Programme, said: "We’re extremely grateful to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service for all the support they gave us for the vaccination campaign across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

"By delivering vaccines to our school teams and then collecting unused vaccines - while maintaining the necessary cold temperatures during transportation - and by hosting walk-in clinics across the county, the service played a major role in protecting the public during the pandemic."

And one member of staff who has been recognised for her role during the pandemic at FARS is Victoria Adams, Strategic Risk Manager.

Victoria has been nominated for the Professional of the Year Award by Richard Williams, Station Manager at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

At the start of the pandemic, Victoria (also known as Vicky), was seconded to the COVID-19 Tactical Cell which managed the service’s response to COVID-19 which included policy change, response planning, governance and reporting.

Vicky continued to carry out the work in the COVID-19 Tactical Cell where she implemented an Internal Track and Trace procedure, acted as the point of contact for Environmental Health Officers in the county, provided advice and support to colleagues across the service for COVID and supported the National Chief Fire Council with writing a pandemic business continuity plan.

And Richard believes Vicky thoroughly deserves the nomination and said: “Vicky has always been committed to the organisation but during the pandemic she supported the Leadership Team and other colleagues often going above and beyond. Vicky showed exemplary behaviours during the pandemic as she acted in a compassionate and distinguished manner throughout.

“Vicky’s involvement in supporting the community outreach work through the vaccination programme was second to none. She was able to guide those involved to mitigate against the risk and support the work being a success, providing valuable outcomes for communities.”

The ALARM Risk Awards are due to take place on 5 July.