Cleveland Fire chiefs have reassured residents that firefighters and staff are working tirelessly for the community in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Cleveland Fire Brigade has stressed its number one priority is the safety of communities and is committed to following national guidance to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Brigade chiefs said in recent weeks they have tested and developed business continuity plans to ensure they continue to maintain high levels of service to protect communities.

Appropriate plans are also in place to ensure emergency response services are maintained.

A Cleveland Fire Brigade spokesman said: “In the event of an emergency, rest assured that our fire engines and crews will continue to respond should you require us.

“During this difficult time, our firefighters and staff are working tirelessly to give the community the help they need and we’re absolutely committed to keeping essential fire and rescue services going and doing more where we can.

“We’re still delivering essential prevention, protection and emergency response services, although the way we do things is going to be very different.

“We are asking for the support of our communities in taking extra precautions during these longer periods in the home.

“We are and remain a ‘Can Do’ Fire and Rescue Service and we will do everything to protect the local community from fire or any other emergency incident.”

Fire brigade bosses added modified services include delivery of educational services being temporarily reduced and business fire safety activities adapted to minimise contact.

Cleveland Fire Authority (CFA), made up of elected members from the four borough councils in the area, has also taken steps to continue work in light of the coronavirus outbreak and meetings being suspended.

The authority has a statutory responsibility for the provision of fire and rescue services across Cleveland and said it is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council national position statement during the pandemic.

A Cleveland Fire Authority spokesman said: “Our overall strategic intent is to ‘Delay’ and ‘Mitigate’ the impact of Covid-19 across the UK in order to protect our communities.

“While CFA face to face meetings are currently suspended, members are in regular contact with the senior team at Cleveland Fire Brigade and are kept abreast of developments.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank both our firefighters, and our support staff for their dedication and professionalism at this unprecedented time.”

They added the CFA’s strategic intentions are to proactively protect communities and limit the spread of Covid-19 and support a return to normality.

Other intentions include ensuring safety and wellbeing of staff, business continuity, maintaining an effective emergency response, maintaining essential preparedness and ensuring responses are coordinated and integrated with other agencies.

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