Throughout the pandemic, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has been proud to support its blue light partners, NHS colleagues, local councils and community organisations.
People from across KFRS have offered their help whenever possible, including during the mass roll-out of Covid-19 testing and more recently, transporting vaccinations.
In the last week, officers have been helping to collect thousands of vaccines from hospitals across Kent and Medway, and deliver them to various vaccination centres in support of the national booster programme.
Chris Else, Assistant Director for Resilience at KFRS, said: ‘Since the start of the pandemic, we have offered our assistance wherever we can, from delivering meals to the vulnerable in partnership with Age UK, to coordinating the procurement and delivery of thousands of items of PPE.
‘We are now using that experience to support the rapid upscaling of the booster programme across the county.
‘We’re really proud to be part of this united response with our partner agencies and hope our efforts help to make a difference.’
NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chief Nurse, Paula Wilkins, said: ‘The support we have received from KFRS has been invaluable in the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination across Kent and Medway.
‘From assisting in the setting up and running of clinics, to making sure deliveries of the vaccine get to clinics on time, their help is hugely appreciated.’
Earlier this year, firefighters helped to set-up a new vaccination centre in Gravesend, while numerous KFRS volunteers have been stationed at various vaccination and testing sites.
Reflecting on the last year, KFRS volunteer Stuart Downs said: ‘Kent Fire and Rescue Service has responded to the pandemic in a variety of ways; ranging from the delivery of meals, through to supporting vaccination centres across the county.
‘The key factor in the successful outcome, is the people who came together to help make it happen. With every vaccine administered, hope for a brighter future comes closer.’
Covid-19 vaccination clinics for first, second and booster doses are continuing to take place throughout December and January.
If you haven’t booked yours already, it’s not too late to do so. The majority of clinics can be booked online at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by phoning 119.