Beds FRS: BFRS welcomes media to Kempston Fire Station to talk about daily lateral flow testing for 100,000 critical workers

From the 10 January 2022, 100,000 key workers in England, which includes food processing workers, those in front line transport roles and emergency services, will have to test every day they are attending work via a lateral flow test (LFT).

To support this the government have pledged to send out tests to these industries, including all frontline emergency services such as the Fire Service, Ambulance and Police services.

To highlight the importance of taking an LFT, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service welcomed the media into Kempston Station to discuss how the Omicron variant has affected service staff members. Station Commander (SC) Matt Blanchard spoke to Amelia Harper from GB News, explaining the importance of being able to test regularly within the service.

Matt said; “Testing, for us, is a really useful control measure because it enables us to keep our staff safe and to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19 on stations. It’s important that the public know that we are testing regularly, to protect them and ourselves for when we interact with them at operational incidents and also when we carry out important Prevention and Protection work.”

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service have not experienced significant levels of COVID within the workplace or any significant difficultly around absence, as SC Blanchard was able to report.

“We've had some staff absences, but we've had very strict guidelines and COVID risk assessments in place, so we've been able to cut down on the number of infections in the workplace. Moving our resources to ensure that we can respond quickly to any incidents and keep the public safe.”

BFRS continues to operate at full capacity across the county, delivering on our mission to provide outstanding fire and rescue services that help make Bedfordshire safer.