A fire station was left without any firefighters as huge numbers of staff isolated with Covid, it has been claimed.

The base in Gosport, Hampshire, had no one available for a night shift last week, union officials said, prompting a scramble to get cover from nearby.

As many as 40 people across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Rescue Service were said to be in quarantine on December 28 after testing positive.

Staff shortages in London meanwhile have left one in three engines off the road.

A fire station in Gosport, Hampshire, had no one available for a night shift last week, union officials said. (Stock image)

A fire station in Gosport, Hampshire, had no one available for a night shift last week, union officials said. (Stock image)

A fire station in Gosport, Hampshire, had no one available for a night shift last week, union officials said. (Stock image)

Mark Chapman, regional secretary for Region 12 of the Fire Brigades Union, said: ‘The service is at an absolutely threadbare level of cover. 

‘We even had one fire station essentially left without any firefighters, having to borrow firefighters from another station.’

But bosses insisted the Gosport base was ‘fully crewed’ on December 28 as staff were moved around. 

Kevin Evenett, Hampshire’s assistant director of operations, added: ‘Staff absences unrelated to Covid-19 were managed in line with our contingency plans and personnel were moved around to maintain cover.’

As many as 40 people across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Rescue Service were said to be in quarantine on December 28 after testing positive. (Stock image)

As many as 40 people across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Rescue Service were said to be in quarantine on December 28 after testing positive. (Stock image)

As many as 40 people across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Rescue Service were said to be in quarantine on December 28 after testing positive. (Stock image)

He added: ‘Like all emergency services, we have robust contingency plans in place to cover staff absences and keep those plans under review to make sure we can continue to respond when needed.

‘This includes moving firefighters and fire engines around when necessary to maintain cover.

‘All colleagues have been reminded about the importance of protecting themselves and others from Covid-19 and this includes wearing face masks, practicing social distancing where possible, using lateral flow tests, and isolating when necessary.’

Source: Daily Mail

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