FACE coverings are being offered as part of the service uniform worn by firefighters in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service have added branded face coverings as an additional piece of the standard uniform to ensure the safety of staff.

The service says it is a versatile piece of uniform that can be used in a number of ways, one of which is as a face covering, should that be desired or required by staff.

The gear is already in use within the service and used by some of its specialist teams working in urban search and rescue.

This latest addition is a more general item for all staff including firefighters, corporate staff and volunteers.

In line with Government guidance and recommendations for face coverings, the service has introduced them as an option for staff to use as a face covering, should they wish to cover their mouth and nose when out and about, especially in enclosed spaces.

The service said the decision to provide face coverings is a balanced approach to provide uniformed items for staff to meet the current needs of the unprecedented times while maintaining the corporate image of the service.