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As part of Hull 2020, NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been working more closely with Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HRFS) over the past year. Chief Officer Emma Latimer and her team have been exploring ways in which the public sector in Hull can work together better to maximise the resources available and continue to deliver a great service to the public.

As one of the nine partners brought together to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Hull, HFRS played a lead role in last summer’s Hull 2020 launch event and is currently working on a number of key initiatives with the CCG.

In order to better understand the day to day workings of one of the key partners, Emma Latimer has been keen to see the local fire service from the inside and what better way to do it than to don the boots and uniform and spend a whole shift at East Hull Fire Station!

Emma spent last Saturday night at the station on Southcoates Lane as part of Green Watch and was certainly kept busy:

“Every member of the shift took the time to demonstrate how to utilise a piece of equipment or to discuss how they respond to an incident. I was amazed to see the range of technical skills that the crews had and I really didn’t appreciate the diverse range of skills necessary to respond to incidents. I was really impressed with the professionalism of the staff and they made me feel really welcome. I did the full shift, attended two incidents and was put through my paces doing the fitness test on Sunday morning which I scraped through!

I had chance to discuss some of the things we are planning to do in health and asked for their views on how they thought we could work better together. I also had an opportunity to discuss some of the issues facing the fire service due to the national austerity measures affecting all public services. I can honestly say it was a fantastic experience and that was down to Green Watch – they really are a brilliant team and I can’t thank them enough.”

Station Manager Matt Sutcliffe was also delighted that the shift had proved useful for the CCG Chief:

“One of the core parts of Hull 2020 is how healthcare providers and blue light services can best work together for the people of Hull. We can try and tell partners and the wider public the varied elements of the job, but, to really see it from the ‘shop floor’, there is no substitute for becoming a firefighter for the night!

Emma wanted to experience the role first hand and understand current local and national issues facing HFRS staff. I am really pleased that she enjoyed her shift with Green Watch – we might get her up on the 32 metre aerial ladder platform next time!”