Celebrating National Volunteering Week

Volunteers from across emergency services stand together in front of ambulance and fire engine


Today (1 June) marks the beginning of National Volunteering Week. The annual event celebrates volunteers and says thank you to those who’ve contributed over the past year.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) are taking the opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers in our local communities who have stepped up to support one another and the country during this incredibly challenging time.


Since the height of the pandemic, alongside volunteers in the community, many AF&RS staff have stepped up to support the NHS in its fight against Covid-19, with staff from across the Service stepping up to help drive ambulances, respond to emergency calls and marshal at vaccination centres across the local area.


Volunteers from AF&RS have been working hard to support the national effort and since the beginning of 2021, we have:

  • Crewed three ambulances 24/7, covering 707 12 hours shifts
  • Spent 5254 hours of those shifts providing active patient care
  • Responded to over 2700 calls, including 501 category 1 calls
  • Resuscitated 17 patients that had no signs of life on arrival at scene
  • Provided 120 days of 24 hour welfare and support for our ambulance volunteers


AF&RS staff have also worked alongside volunteers to provide assistance at Mass Vaccination Centres, supporting the vaccination roll out.

Dave Hodges, Covid Co-ordination Team Lead at AF&RS, said: “I’ve witnessed first-hand how tirelessly our staff and local volunteers have worked over the past year, from setting up Mass Vaccination sites, to assisting with patient care and marshalling at centres across the local area.

“Their time and commitment in assisting with the roll-out of the vaccination programme has made a huge difference to our communities, and has helped to support the NHS in its fight against Covid-19 and has helped save lives.”

Michelle Crossman, On-Call Firefighter at Yatton, and who volunteered to drive ambulances and provide patient care, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of volunteering during the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ve learnt a lot from my time with the ambulance service and it’s been an incredible experience.

“As an on-call firefighter, I’ve spent a lot of time in the heart of the community and volunteering to support the NHS efforts during the pandemic was another way for me to support our communities. If you’re thinking of volunteering, I would say just go for it.”