Visit to team by senior officials of British Red Cross in connection with BRC Fire and Emergency Support Service

Back in November 2008 (see #article#2209#article dated 12th November 2008#) the team welcomed to its Ladybridge Hall base representatives from the British Red Cross who brought along their Fire and Emergency Support Service vehicle, which operates throughout the Greater Manchester County area in support of Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, providing immediate mobile accomodation and support for those affected by fire.

In liaison with the co-ordinator of the FESS, our team enquired as to whether British Red Cross would be willing to allow the team to make use of this same facility on certain incidents where for example, relatives of missing people or associated with those involved in prolonged rescues attend incidents, but where there are no on-scene facilities to accomodate them, or in the occassional sad circumstance of death, allow such relatives and associates an appropriate place to come to terms with their immediate grief and bad news.

Since November, our Team Leader has been liaising with the FESS to formalise such use of their vehicle in support of certain incidents our team gets involved in.

This evening our Team Leader met with Alison Dixey, Area Operations Director (Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside) BRC; Stephen Hagerich, Senior Service Manager for Emergency Response (Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside) BRC, and Shaun Kershaw, FESS Co-ordinator (Greater Manchester service) BRC.

Garry Rhodes our Team Leader outlined to Alison and Stephen (Shaun was already aware of what we do) the wide ranging role and scope of Bolton MRT. A number of recent incident examples were discussed at which the FESS vehicle could have played a valuable role in assisting the work of the team.

As a result of this meeting, we are pleased to announce that the British Red Cross have kindly decided to allow the team to call upon the services of their entirely voluntary run FESS vehicle. BRC have also kindly agreed to a direct callout protocol for the FESS service in Greater Manchester to assist the Bolton MRT (the details of which are to be finalised at a local level).

In consultation with Alison, Stephen and Shaun, this service has also been extended to our colleagues in Rossendale & Pendle MRT and Oldham MRT (on whose behalf Garry acted as their representatives).

Shaun Kershaw FESS Co-ordinator, Manchester, has been invited by Garry Rhodes our Team Leader to attend a range of team activities to familiarise himself further with our activities, personnel and operating systems.

The Bolton MRT welcomes this unique opportunity to work together in future with this excellent British Red Cross provided service.