Keeping Essex Safe
Here is the latest update from Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, following his weekly briefing with Kit Malthouse MP, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service. Roger also receives regular updates from leaders from Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.
Today he thanks the public for staying home and being safe, not stuck indoors. But he does again urge people not to visit Essex this Easter weekend and to continue to stay home. He also talks about the great efforts of the community in coming together; with firefighters training as ambulance drivers and to the Essex Chambers of Commerce galvanising local businesses to help provide extra hospital beds.
His key message again though: * Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives*
You can watch his message here:
A full transcript of the update is available below
Hello I am Roger Hirst, your Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex. I would like to start this week but wishing the Prime Minister a speedy recovery. His illness shows that this virus is indiscriminate in who it effects, and I would like to offer our good wishes to everyone who has been effected by this disease. I would also like to thank everyone who has been adhering to the social distancing rules, staying home and saving lives. As a county we did really well last week and we need to make sure that even though it is tough that we do the same again this bank holiday weekend. You should not go out just for fun or pleasure. The reasons for going out are to shop for essentials, to work if you cannot work from home, to seek medical attention or supplies, or to exercise once a day and please don’t go too far away from your own home to do that.
This weekend we would really like you to find new ways of doing things you normally do. If you have a look on social media you’ll see lots of opportunities to explore new places in Essex, try a virtual museum experience, download the artist activity pack from Firstsite’s website which is the Art Gallery in Colchester or even try a virtual tour of Colchester Zoo on You Tube, that’s quite fun. We are not stuck at home we are safe at home that is the right way to look at these things.
I would like to emphasize as well that after the weekend it is important that we get back to work. We must keep the economy going if we are going to keep provisions running, support people being cared for in hospital and be able to support the workers that we have there. It is so important that businesses keep running and most businesses are still running, so please work from home if you can but please work, that’s really is part of the key message that we have to get to people at the moment.
Since I last spoke to you we have made real progress together in preparing our services, our NHS and our communities for the impact of what happening to us. Earlier this week following a request by our colleagues in the NHS, we brought together Firefighters and staff from the Essex County Fire & Rescue Service together with volunteers and a Witham based logistics company called SIMARCO to organise extra beds at both Braintree and Brentwood Community Hospitals. That’s increased the amount of hospital beds we can call on by 200 which will undoubtedly save lives, so thank you to those who got that to happen. I would also like to Denise Rossiter from the Essex Chamber of Commerce who played a key role in making that happen.
Also, nearly 100 of our Firefighters now have volunteered to drive ambulances and the first short conversion courses were run this week so the first ten of those volunteers can adapt their excellent blue light driving skills from driving fire appliances to driving ambulances, which is great.
I would also like to highlight a new regular update we are providing with BBC Essex at 4 O’clock on Tuesday’s and Friday’s. These regular slots will feature leaders from across the county so they can explain what is happening to prepare, so please take the time to listen to that and find out a bit more about what is happening.
I wanted to end this week by again thanking you all so much for what you are doing whether it is volunteering, whether its working in our key organisations, whether its doing what you do and helping the whole economy to keep ticking over, but really thank you all for staying home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.