Support ensures firefighters are fit

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A FIRE service says it has reduced its sickness rates by more than a half after drafting in a host of measures to care for its staff.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service has said its health and safety performance has also improved, with the number of accidents down.

It has said sickness levels, which have fallen for the 10th year in a row, have been reduced by more than 56 per cent through a combination of measures.

These include the introduction of structured fitness training and assessment; increased use of physiotherapy; individual health checks; flu vaccinations; counselling support and advice; specific support for long-term medical conditions and effective use of modified duties.

It has also received several awards for its work, including a RoSPA Platinum Award for Health and Safety.

Jane Brown, chairman of the service’s human resources committee, said: “Reducing sickness levels and improving health and safety are vital components for a successful fire and rescue service.

“Year-on-year improvements in these areas has helped ensure we continue to deliver a first-class service to the people of County Durham and Darlington.”