Essex County Fire and Rescue Service partner with The Salvation Army
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has partnered with The Salvation Army to provide refreshments to firefighters at big incidents.
The charity’s Incident Support Unit will be based at Clacton Fire Station and the fire service's Incident Commanders can request it at large incidents when crews will be needed at the scene for an extended time. The volunteers will provide cold food/snacks and hot drinks and handwashing facilities will also be available.
It is one of a number of provisions in the fire service's Welfare Policy which ensures all fire service staff are supported at incidents.
Ryan Ainger, Operational Policy Station Manager at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: “The Salvation Army unit will significantly enhance welfare provisions.
“It will provide crews with a much better facility while they take a well-deserved break from an incident, enabling them to recharge with a snack and rehydrate with a drink.
“It’s a 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year service, but it is run by volunteers so obviously it is dependent on their availability.
“As they are providing it at no cost, our Service has agreed to cover the vehicle’s annual servicing and MOT costs as a token of our appreciation and to help ensure the vehicle is ready to respond.
“Crews will continue to have hot food packs and hot drinks on their appliances, but this is an extra level of service and will really improve their welfare.
“On behalf of our Service, I’d like to thank the Salvation Army for their support, which will make a big difference to our firefighters.
“I’d also like to thank everyone, including representative bodies, for their involvement and help in creating the new Welfare Policy.”
The Salvation Army helps communities in times of need, including attending incidents to support members of the public left homeless.
Similar Incident Support Unit partnerships already operate with others fire and rescue services in the UK, including in London and Suffolk, and have been very successful.
Adrian Clee, Territorial Emergency Response Officer at the Salvation Army, said: “The Salvation Army has a long tradition of supporting our emergency services with welfare support at larger or more protracted incidents.
“We have agreements with fire services across much of the UK and it is great to now be able to extend that frontline support to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.
“We look forward to developing a strong working relationship and providing strong support to teams on the ground.”