Through our network of branches and trained volunteers the Irish Red Cross in June 2013 are introducing a Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS). The programme will initially be piloted in Dublin and based on its success then rolled out to the rest of Ireland.
Currently in Ireland there is no service available to help people with practical necessities in the aftermath of a fire in their home or major emergency and in 2011 there were 50,000 call outs to domestic fires.
The Irish Red Cross are in a unique position to provide a Fire and Emergency Support Service with 5,500 highly trained volunteers in first aid and emergency response as well as the country’s largest voluntary ambulance fleet, distributed in 145 locations throughout the country.
FESS is in conjunction with the state fire service who will call upon FESS volunteers when required, we will respond with the fire service in a fully equipped vehicle, providing first aid for non-acute cases and emotional and practical support in the form of food and drink, clothing, temporary accommodation and toilet and washing facilities. Volunteers will also provide support and direction to victims of fire and domestic emergencies, directing them to relevant organisations and agencies that will help assist with insurance claims for building, contents, vehicles and pets. Whilst on the scene we will also help to secure property in the aftermath of an incident and assist with large scale evacuations as a result of a fire, flood, gas leak, natural disaster etc. Irish Red Cross volunteers will also be available to fire crews working on prolonged incidents where we will provide; food and drinks and toilet and shower facilities.
Pipelife’s donation will be helping to provide a service that will support people in Ireland at their most vulnerable moment: when everything they have has been destroyed by fire or another major domestic emergency. Trained Irish Red Cross volunteers will provide practical and emotional support to victims in the direct aftermath of a traumatic incident in their home, a service which currently the Fire Service cannot provide. We will be able to support victims and protect their dignity. Often in the aftermath of a serious household incident people are left without clothing often standing around in night clothes exposed to the elements and staring on lookers. We will provide a change of clothing, food, a mobile phone and a temporary place for victims to shelter. Our highly trained first aiders will be able to look after health needs of victims freeing up ambulance staff to look after victims with more serious injuries and by assisting the victims in this way the Fire Service has the ability to move onto the next emergency fast.
The Irish Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Service will be a free service, staffed by volunteers and available 24/7 365 days of the year.
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