Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

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FOI / 4226 / 2021 - COVID -19


Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold some of the information you have requested.

Please see below the answer to your request.

Questions and final response:

Please could you break down the below information per month (from the 1st to the 30th or 31st) for each month from April to December in 2020.

How many full-time firefighters employed within your service were forced to self-isolate after: testing positive for Covid-19, living with someone who had contracted the virus or had symptoms of it, having symptoms of coronavirus, being in close contact with someone in their support bubble that had symptoms or had tested positive for Covid-19, told by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app to self-isolate, or arriving in the UK after visiting a country with a high coronavirus risk over this period?


336 Wholetime Firefighters (regardless of whether they are station based or working in Support roles) have been absent for a COVID-related reason to date.

This includes absences for the following reasons:

·       Self Isolation – Employee at High Risk

·       Self Isolation - Household Member Symptomatic or Positive Test Result

·       Self Isolation – Employee Lateral Flow Positive Test Result (pending PCR confirmatory test)

·       Self Isolation – Employee Positive Test Result

·       Self Isolation – Employee Symptomatic

·       Self Isolation – NHS Test & Trace Directed Isolation

·       Self Isolation - Other Reason


It excludes absences where an employee was unavailable to work due to having caring responsibilities for a vulnerable family or household member.

The ‘Other Reason’ category includes employees that have been asked to self isolate at the request of the Service – e.g. where that has been an identified close contact with a confirmed COVID positive colleague.


Overall, for how long (in hours) over the month period did fire stations under the authority of your fire service lose full time cover as a result of such isolation due to Covid-19?  How many retained firefighters had to be used over this period in replacement?


We do not capture the granularity of the data that explains why there is a shortage of riders, i.e. sickness/Covid isolation.