Firefighters give a shot in the arm to Lancashire's Covid jab programme

The leading role played by Lancashire firefighters in the Covid vaccination programme was rewarded with a ministerial visit to Preston.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 5:12 pm

Fire Services Minister Lord Greenhalgh called in at the jab hub in St John’s Shopping Centre to say a big ‘thank you’ to the volunteers who have set the standard for other fire brigades around the UK.

“The team in Lancashire have led the way, becoming the first fire service in the country to assist the NHS with the distribution of the vaccine and also to fully train their staff as vaccinators,” he said.

“By doing so, they have shown that those in fire services are ready, willing and able to go above and beyond to keep the British public safe, once again demonstrating they truly are the very best of us.”

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Minister Lord Greenhalgh chats with Faz Patel from the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

One of the firefighters Lord Greenhalgh met was crew manager Sarah Holden who was in the first cohort of fire service personnel to be seconded to the vaccination programme back in January.

“We’ve been doing vaccinations for such a long time and to still be recognised for the work we are doing was great,” said Sarah.

“I spent three months working practically every day in vaccination centres and now I’m back in my day job I still volunteer in my time off. I’ve got to admit it’s been the most rewarding part of my career.

“We were the first and I would like to think it was the starting block for other fire services in the country.”

Pictured (l to r): County Councillors David O'Toole and Nikki Henderson, Lord Greenhalgh, Station Manager Mark Warwick and Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnston.

Lancashire's Chief ire Officer Justin Johnston said: "It has been such a fantastic thing to be involved in and we know it's made a real difference.

"We started the vaccination support back in mid-December and we will still be vaccinating through to probably the end of September.

"We are also in talks about how we may be able to support the booster programme as it develops."