Lancashire's emergency services say it's business 'as normal' despite pandemic and lockdown

It’s business as usual, according to Lancashire’s emergency services who have said the coronavirus pandemic has not impacted its services

Lancashire Police, the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) have all said they are continuing to run as normal despite staff absences caused by the virus.

Lancashire Police won’t share isolation rates for its staff but said: “Those leading the national operation are kept updated daily and we can reassure the public that we are coping well and that service continues as normal.”

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As off last Friday, 41 of the LFRS’s operational staff were off ill with three of them suspected of having Covid-19.

Lancashire Police said its service is running 'as normal'

Twenty-seven are off work because they are self-isolating, shielding or caring family members. No staff are confirmed as having tested positive for Covid-19.

A LFRS spokesman said: “We have not had to reduce the services we offer because of staff absences since the lockdown began.

“Testing for firefighters was introduced at the start of the week but due to low numbers of staff currently suspected of having COVID-19, only two members of staff have been referred for testing.”

NWAS said it was not able to give figures for Covid-19-related absences but said that all had all been ‘manageable’ and the service has been able to maintain and in some cases improve available resources.

Despite this a spokesman said there has been an increase in both 999 and 111 calls.

They added: “This does mean that people with a non-life threatening need will have to wait longer for an ambulance.

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“We urge the public to continue to support us by only calling 999 for life threatening emergencies and to use 111 or online for other conditions.”

Despite NWAS being unable to confirm Covid-19 figures for staff, it was reported last week one of the service’s paramedics had died from coronavirus.

The paramedic, based at Wigan Ambulance Station, died on Friday, April 17 in hospital and family members have asked for the health worker, who had worked at the trust for a considerable numbers of years and who was married with children, not to be named.