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Red Cross Response Unit

The Red Cross Response Unit is supplied by the British Red Cross (BRC). It is run as a partnership between Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety (CFRCS) Service and the BRC.

It is funded through donations from local people. Dedicated volunteers crew the vehicle that will respond from Tolvaddon Community Fire Station. It offers support to the entire county.

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The unit is mobilised by the Critical Control Centre to a predetermined attendance for incidents such as:

  • property fires with confirmed persons reported
  • property evacuations including:
    • hotels
    • holiday parks
    • etc
  • flooding and
  • on request from an incident

The aim is to arrive at an incident anywhere in the county within 90 minutes. As a Category 3 responder the vehicle does not have blue lights or sirens. This means that the earlier it can be mobilised, the better. Some of the skills and services that are provided at the scene include:

  • A provisional place of safety for those affected by an incident:
    • removing those affected from the risk area
    • providing a single point of contact for the incident commander should further discussions be required. For example: fire investigation in dry, warm and above all confidential surroundings.
  • Emotional and psychosocial support to those affected by an incident, including:
    • Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service personnel
    • communication between those displaced
    • immediate family and friends, including immediate care for children and pets.
  • Communication with:
    • local authorities or housing associations for purposes of re-housing
    • insurance companies
    • associated charities. 
  • Other facilities including:
    • shower
    • toilet
    • light refreshments
    • toiletries
    • clothing

The Red Cross Response Unit is now available for operational calls on a 24 hour basis. This is due to the success of recruitment and availability of volunteers.

The people who crew the Red Cross Response Unit are volunteers who have undergone:

  • an enhanced CRB check
  • induction and
  • dedicated training courses

This ensures that they are able to provide the services expected and required at an incident.

Skills and training include:

  • child and vulnerable adult protection
  • emotional and psychosocial support and
  • safety on the Incident ground

Do you know anyone who would be interested in volunteering for this role to help to provide this service for the people of Cornwall? If so, please visit the British Red Cross website.