The British Red Cross needs more volunteers to support people affected by house fires and other emergencies

A woman is comforted at an incidentA British Red Cross service which offers practical and emotional support to people after a fire, flood or other emergency is looking for new volunteers in the Bristol area.

When disaster strikes trained fire and emergency support (FES) volunteers from the Red Cross are on hand to help. Called out by the fire service, the team of trained volunteers with a specially-adapted vehicle provides practical and emotional support to people affected by house fires or flooding. The team also works with power companies to support vulnerable people in the event of a power cut such as those caused by the recent bad weather in the South West.

James Roberts, FES coordinator at the Red Cross, who was himself a volunteer for two years before recently taking on his new role, says: “Without volunteers we simply could not offer the emotional and practical support to people involved in fires, floods and other emergencies. We rely on our volunteers to respond to emergencies at a moment's notice, which takes some dedication.

“We are looking for compassionate, enthusiastic, reliable volunteers to join our team and help us provide a 24/7 service. Volunteers need to live within 30 minutes of Keynsham fire station, where the FES vehicle is located. No experience is necessary as full training is given.”

Anyone wanting to find out more can come to an open afternoon at Keynsham Fire Station, Temple Street, BS31 1EL, on Saturday 29 March between 2pm and 4pm, where they can chat to existing volunteers and find out about what is involved. Call James Roberts on 0117 3012619 for more information or if you can’t make it on Saturday.

FES runs in more than 40 counties across the UK, including Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset. Using a customised vehicle complete with a shower, cooker, kettle and supplies, volunteers provide those affected by fire or flood with immediate temporary shelter. They are also able to provide first aid, clothes, food, toiletries and help find temporary accommodation and signpost people to other support organisations that can help.

For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk