A HAMPSHIRE fire station has been forced to close following a coronavirus outbreak among its staff.
Due to a number of firefighters testing positive for Covid-19, Romsey Fire Station was temporarily closed.
But firefighters who have not been affected are planning to return to the station on Alma Road shortly and begin attending emergencies again.
While a “deep clean and wider testing” is carried out, fire chiefs are urging firefighters and the public to stick to social distancing guidelines.
Romsey Fire Station
Brigade Secretary of Fire Brigades Union Gary Jackson said he is concerned about the ripple effect of the outbreak.
He said: “There has been a spike in numbers in Romsey. I have no concerns about the emergency response as we have got measures in place to deal with these contingencies.
“All it really goes to show is people, including our own staff, need to carry on being vigilant in social distancing in similar measures to prevent these spikes.
“My concern is for the ripple effect – the families of firefighters and consequential contamination. We need to think about limiting exposures for different groups.”
While a councillor has told residents that the town will be kept safe during emergencies.
Councillor Nik Daas, Borough Councillor for Romsey Abbey, said: “This is devastating news. I wish all the firefighters involved the speediest of recoveries.
“I also want to reassure residents that Hampshire Fire and Rescue have taken the necessary action to ensure Romsey will be covered, if fire services are required.
“We are forever in debt to those who save our lives and we as citizens must repay that debt by supporting them.”
Assistant Director of Operations Kevin Evenett said: “As a precaution, Romsey Fire Station has been temporarily closed due to a small number of firefighters testing positive for COVID-19. Staff members from the station that do not test positive for COVID-19 will return to work shortly.
“I’d like to praise the hard work and dedication of our staff during these challenging times.”