Critical NHS workers cut off by snow get a fireman's lift to work

Firefighters with the new personal protective equipment and the new tactical response vehicles. Pic:

Firefighters with the new personal protective equipment and the new tactical response vehicles. Pic: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. - Credit: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

Controversial 4x4s have been pressed into action as a taxi fleet for NHS hospital staff struggling to get to work.

"Service critical" medical workers were picked up by tactical response units early on Tuesday (February 9).

The journeys to Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital were made from bases at Cromer, Wymondham, and Diss in vehicles first deployed last summer as part of a £1.44m package of new kit for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Assistant chief fire officer Scott Norman said: “Early this morning we used our new 4x4 vehicles, introduced to our fleet last summer for use in spate weather conditions, to assist our NHS colleagues safely to work at JPH.

Firefighters with the new personal protective equipment and the new tactical response vehicles. Pic:

Firefighters with the new personal protective equipment and the new tactical response vehicles. Pic: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. - Credit: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

"This forms part of our commitment through Norfolk Resilience Forum to continue to support the infrastructure of our county at this challenging time.

"We utilised our Toyota Hilux vehicles and staff from across Norfolk to help with this."


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A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said the actions were Covid-safe following the same safety procedures as a taxi.

Five new 4x4 tactical response vehicles costing Norfolk County Council £187,000 were introduced last summer, sparking fears they would replace existing fire vehicles.

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They are based at stations in Wymondham, Diss, Fakenham, Cromer and Sandringham, with a brief to carry a range of specialist equipment to tackle a wide range of incidents.

A spokesman for the James Paget University Hospital said: "We were also helped by a local farmer as well - and would like to pass on our thanks to all who were involved in helping us get staff to work so they could continue providing care to our patients."

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