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Innovative scheme lends a hand to flood and fire victims

Volunteer manager Roy Aldwin, volunteer Chris Bidwell and volunteer support manager Kevin McGetrick from the Herts Community Protection Volunteer team

Volunteer manager Roy Aldwin, volunteer Chris Bidwell and volunteer support manager Kevin McGetrick from the Herts Community Protection Volunteer team

 

Flood and fire victims in Herts are among the first to be offered clear-up help for their damaged homes thanks to a new volunteer scheme.

The county’s innovative Community Protection Volunteer team, run through the Herts County Council, is only the second of its kind in the UK to offer help to those whose properties have been destroyed in blazes or by flooding.

Volunteer Emma Connor said: “The Volunteer Incident Support Team has been set up to help make a real difference to the most vulnerable residents in our community.

“People can underestimate how distressing it is to experience a fire. We’re on hand 24/7 to help put things right after the fire crews have attended, helping to clear up and make the property habitable again so that the resident can return home as soon as possible.

“I think this service will help people to feel that their community really does care about them.”

The specialist crew can reach a scene within 90 minutes before removing all damaged appliances and clearing debris.

Chief fire officer and county director of community protection Roy Wilsher said: “This service is about providing support to those at risk who have experienced trauma and enabling them to stay in familiar surroundings while they come to terms with the disruption they have suffered.

“Moving to temporary accommodation can be very unsettling. We have a dedicated and experienced team of volunteers on call around the clock, ready to provide support to people in their time of need.”

For more on the scheme or details about becoming a volunteer, call Roy Aldwin on 01707 292639 or click here.

 

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