PEOPLE needing emergency medical treatment across Wales have been assisted by some unusual helpers – in the form of firefighters.

More than 200 members of staff from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have volunteered to support their communities and Welsh Ambulance Service staff by doing more than 300 shifts for their fellow emergency service colleagues.

33 firefighters across South Wales have received specialist training and have been supporting the NHS in the fight against coronavirus.

They have had to complete a joint course by the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust (WAST). They have since gone on to drive ambulances and rapid response vehicles as well as offering support to paramedics and ambulance technicians.

They are all serving firefighters who have extensive first aid, trauma care qualifications and experience, meaning that they are well-trained to support their colleagues.

Chief fire officer Huw Jakeway QFSM said: “We are working in partnership with the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, along with all blue light emergency services, across a wide range of areas to ensure the very best level of protection, prevention and response for our communities.

“I am extremely proud of those who have stepped forward to offer support to WAST and our NHS colleagues during these unprecedented and challenging times.

"The safety of our staff is vitally important, and we are working closely with the National Fire Chiefs Council to ensure all risk assessments clearly set out how we will keep our people safe while carrying out this work.”