Firefighters ready to tackle emergencies, but cutting other public contact amid coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 11:50 20 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:10 20 March 2020

Stuart Ruff, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service's chief fire officer. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Stuart Ruff, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service's chief fire officer. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Norfolk County Council

Measures are in place to make sure Norfolk’s firefighters can still tackle emergencies amid coronavirus, but the chief fire officer has said some non-emergency work has been paused to reduce contact with the public.

Chief fire officer Stuart Ruff, also chairman of Norfolk Resilience Forum, reassured businesses and communities that his service is ready for the challenges ahead during the outbreak.

He said: “Our priority is to ensure the safety of the people of Norfolk, both our communities and staff.

“We have now limited non-essential contact with the public to help control the spread of the virus, and to ensure our crews are available for emergency response.

“We would like to reassure everyone that our 999 emergency response will be provided as usual and we would ask people to only call us in a genuine emergency, where there is a risk to life or property.”

Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said: “Our fire service is used to tackling emergency situations and shows great resilience in challenging times. I am very grateful to all the men and women in our service who are continuing to provide a fire and rescue service committed to keeping Norfolk safe.”

The service will still go out to high risk premises or locations where an imminent risk to life has been identified.

Other work has been adapted and the service is temporarily pausing some of its work, including educational and community visits, meetings of the youth cadets and other public engagement.

Home safety advice is available on the fire service website

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