CREMATORIUM and grave digging duties are not the easiest tasks to take on.
But thanks to staff stepping out of their comfort zone and being redeployed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Tameside Council is well prepared to deal with any extra demands on the service.Dukinfield crematorium staff celebrate new qualifications gained during redeployment
Five engineering staff who were redeployed to the crematorium to help bereavement services get through the peak of the pandemic have passed their qualification with The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities. They now have the Certificate of Proficiency in the Practical and Ethical Operation of Cremation Equipment.
Tameside is the only local authority in Greater Manchester to have put in place this special measures training and now has nine trained crematorium operatives making the service more resilient and better placed to continue through any future peaks and demands.
Five further engineering staff were redeployed to support the service with grave digging duties. In all cases, the redeployed staff have been working alongside and assisting more experienced staff.
Tameside Council Executive Member Cllr Allison Gwynne, who is responsible for Operations and Neighbourhoods, said: “I’m really proud of all of these workers who have stepped out of their comfort zones, taking on quite different roles to what they are used to, to help ensure we could continue providing a bereavement service to local families through the peak of the pandemic. It also means we’re resilient moving forwards and well prepared should a second wave come.
“I’m particularly pleased for those staff who gained additional qualifications as a result on this – it is recognition that, despite their temporary status, they are doing what is a very sensitive role proficiently and ethically. Well done and thank you to all for your hard work.”