Firefighters provide one of the most important services to the public, yet they are often taken for granted and don’t always receive the support they need to carry out this lifesaving service in dangerous conditions. The Salvation Army in Essex is determined to demonstrate their appreciation through a new partnership with the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service that enables the church and charity to support firefighters at large-scale incidents.
Support includes the provision of cold food and snacks, hot drinks, and handwashing facilities to firefighters who have to battle flames for extended periods of time. Support services will be available on demand from Clacton Fire Station.
The Salvation Army has a record for supporting firefighters
The Salvation Army has similar partnerships with other fire and rescue services in the UK; where an Incident Support Unit (or similar) provides refreshments and brief respite for exhausted firefighters before they have to return to literally blazing conditions.
Commenting on the arrangement, Major Barrie Simpson, who is the Emergency Services Coordinator for Essex, said, “Having worked alongside the emergency services, both in civilian and Salvation Army roles, for many years, I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve Essex Fire and Rescue in this particular way… we look forward to a long and happy relationship with Essex Fire and Rescue Services.”
He went on to thank all the Salvation Army volunteers from Herts and Essex who have pledged their time to the Incident Support Unit when the need arises.
Divisional Commander Major Norman Ord shared Simpson’s sentiments, saying, “I am delighted that The Salvation Army in Essex has the resources needed to offer support to Essex Fire and Rescue Service personnel as they attend major incidents in the future. I look forward to this ministry developing.”
Commenting from the other side of the partnership, Ryan Ainger, Operational Policy Station Manager at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said, “As they are providing the service at no cost, we have agreed to cover the vehicle’s annual servicing and MOT costs as a token of our appreciation and to help ensure the vehicle is always ready to respond.
“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.”