Lancashire Fire Service welcome £1.3 million in extra funding during Coronavirus pandemic
The Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service have received a government grant of almost £200,000, with an additional £1.1 million on its way in the coming weeks.
The increase in funding will support the fire service in areas where they have seen a rise in expenditures during lockdown, including additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and ICT equipment to enable staff to work from home.
The additional costs of the pandemic have also meant that the Fire and Rescue service have had to redeploy staff to work in other areas of the front line.
Training staff are now providing support for those working at fire stations, with other members of staff helping with the fitting of face visors for NHS workers and delivering vital PPE to hospitals in Lancashire.
“We have seen a 1.6 per cent increase in our funding for this next year and will have received almost 1.3 million pounds of funding from the government to support us during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Richard Edney, Senior Communications Officer for the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.
“This will support us in areas where we have seen an increase in our funding for the PPE we need and, allowing people to work from home with the correct IT equipment.”
During lockdown, there has been a decrease in demand in some operations carried out by the fire service, such as attending road traffic collisions because there have been fewer cars on the roads.
This has led to members of staff being redeployed to other areas of the service, offering support to other emergency and front line workers.
However, Richard Edney claimed that there has been a rise in certain types of fire, such as burning household wastes.
“For many people across Lancashire, bin collection dates have been changed from fortnightly to once every four weeks, “ he said.
“Household waste centres are also closed, so people have resorted to burning their waste. We have had reports of people burning their household waste getting out of control in some areas.”
A post on the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service website aims to encourage people to ‘say no to bonfires’.
Residents in Lancashire are being asked to think twice before burning any household or garden waste as callouts to nuisance fires have risen during the pandemic.
Their website states that reduced waste collection services and closed recycling centres has left people with limited ways to dispose of their rubbish, however a growing number of residents have been affected by domestic bonfires, including those with respiratory health issues.
“Whilst we fully appreciate households may be experiencing a build-up of waste materials at the moment we are asking people to think twice about burning it and consider both their neighbours wellbeing and their own safety,” said Mark Hutton, Group Manager for Prevention and Protection.
“The recent dry and breezy weather has resulted in tinder dry materials and gardens leading to many such fires growing out of control and spreading to fences, sheds, garages, vehicles and even people’s homes.
“Please don’t take the chance.”