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Firefighters deliver medicines and food to London’s most vulnerable

28 April 2020

FIREFIGHTERS ARE continuing to step up and help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus by delivering medicines, care packages and food to vulnerable Londoners who are being shielded from COVID-19.

Fire crews are collecting prescriptions from pharmacies and delivering them straight to the door of those being advised they should have very limited social interaction during the current pandemic. Food and care packages are also being transported to people’s homes. These include food parcels made for patients discharged from Whipps Cross Hospital and food bank packages, for example, being delivered in Croydon by firefighters.

While delivering vital medicine and food to the most needy, fire crews are also giving fire safety advice at people’s front doors while social distancing.

Richard Mills, the London Fire Brigade’s deputy commissioner and director of operational delivery and assurance, said: “I never doubted for one minute that our staff would step up and adapt to the new and significant challenges our capital is facing due to COVID-19. I’m immensely proud that they're making sure vulnerable residents are receiving vital medicine and food delivered to their door and that they're not only delivering, but producing essential personal protective equipment for the health workers.”

Mills continued: “London is working together in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As well as maintaining a full emergency service, we’re prepared to assist other partners to help those in need, all the while taking every safety precaution necessary to protect our communities and our staff.”

Firefighters are delivering vital protective equipment to front line healthcare staff. The Brigade’s Operation Seacole has so far helped to deliver over two million items of essential personal protective equipment and local arrangements between London fire crews and the NHS are assisting those in hospitals and care homes.

The Brigade’s specialist CBRN team has, alongside Lambeth crews, now made over 17,000 protective face shields for hospital staff to date and 29 boxes have been received by the Central and North West London Trust (CNWL).

Claire Murdoch, the CNWL Trust's CEO, explained: “I want to thank the kind-hearted Lambeth firefighters for this generous donation. I’m really blown over by their kindness, and we're also very grateful to the group Shield NHS for making these for the NHS.”

Staff at the Heston and Richmond fire stations have made over 13,000 personal protective equipment packs. Each pack consists of two aprons, a pair of gloves and a face mask housed in a biohazard bag. They've been made for the Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust for use by community staff who are visiting vulnerable residents in need of medical care.