Firefighter Rob Townsend, from Kings Langley, is going to be one of the volunteers that are part of the team designated to respond to suspected COVID-19 deaths in the community across London.
The team, which is being trained to do the job, is made up of police officers, fire and health services staff.
Their role will be to confirm life is extinct, confirm the deceased’s identity and establish there are no suspicious circumstances.
Rob said: “I volunteered so that I could contribute and play my part in the current pandemic situation, as well as to know I am helping to alleviate some of the pressure on our colleagues within our London 999 family.
“From the very inception of this role, the emotional toll was naturally considered to be a key factor and so the London Fire Brigade have implemented regular mental health wellbeing check ups for us. On top of that, we all rely on our peers within the service as well close friends and family.”
The team will also prepare the deceased to be collected by an undertaker to take them to a funeral home or mortuary, until arrangements can be made for burial or cremation.
The new units, called Pandemic Multiagency Response Teams (PMART), will aim to ensure a safe response to COVID-19 deaths that may occur in the community at home, in a care home or hospice.
They will try to reduce demand on the London Ambulance Service, enabling them to prioritise emergency cases.