Derbyshire emergency services comment as panic at the pumps over 'fuel shortage' escalates
Emergency services in Derbyshire have commented on fuel shortage problems as long queues continue to form at pumps across the county.
Fears of disruption to supplies sparked panic buying on Friday, over the weekend and at the start of the working week as drivers rushed to fill up their cars.
The Petrol Retailers Association has warned that as many as two-thirds of its membership of nearly 5,500 independent outlets are out of fuel, with the rest of them ‘partly dry and running out soon’.
However, 999 teams serving Derbyshire say they have plans in place to maintain their emergency cover.
Steve Farnsworth, assistant director of operational support services at East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “As a Blue Light service, we have robust plans in place so we are assured our vehicles can continue to run and respond to our patients.”
A spokesperson for Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service said it was not ‘currently concerned’ about the fuel problems.
She added: “The service has its own supply of fuel and a business continuity agreement with fuel suppliers to ensure we’re able to continue to undertake our duties.”
The service has also issued a warning about storing petrol at home.
In a tweet, the service said: “Please do not attempt to fill any type of container with petrol other than a proper petrol can and ensure they are stored safely and away from any heat source.”
They also shared guidance from the Health and Safety Executive which states that petrol must not be stored in living accommodation and that the storage place must have a direct exit to open air and ventilation.
A spokesperson for Stagecoach in Chesterfield declined to comment on the fuel issues.
The company has cancelled a number of buses in the area due to a shortage of drivers.
A Chesterfield Royal Hospital spokesperson said there were currently no issues with staff getting into work.
The Government has insisted that people buying fuel when they do not need it is the cause of queues at petrol stations and empty pumps.
Environment secretary George Eustice said there was ‘plenty of petrol’ and urged people to buy it in the way they usually do.