EEAST unite with British Red Cross

Wednesday, 28 November, 2012

Left to right - Robert Flute, Head of Resilience and Special Operations, Tricia Earp - Operations Director, BRC (Beds, Herts and Essex Area) and Alex Fraser - Operations Director, BRC (East Anglia Area)

The British Red Cross have formed a unique partnership with their colleagues from The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST).

At a special presentation evening held last month at the Trust's Melbourn Ambulance Station in Cambridgeshire, both agencies signed the official agreement in this first of its kind initiative in the country. The partnership will see the British Red Cross provide a trained SORT team (Special Operations Response Team) which can be called upon in times of major emergencies such as a chemical or hazardous contamination incident, to support the ambulance service at the scene.

Robert Flute, East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) Head of Resilience and Special Operations, said: "EEAST has established a Special Operations Response Team (SORT) made up of specifically trained personnel to deal with specialist functions and logistical needs at major, mass or catastrophic incidents. The main functions of the team are to respond at short or timely notice, to deliver vehicles to site of any incident, to deliver specialist equipment to site of any incident, and to set up and operate the equipment."

Robert added: "Due to size of the area, responses with the right amount of people, vehicles and equipment can be challenging. This joint working initiative greatly assists the SORT response, and gives both parties the opportunity to broaden their experience of multi-agency working and to gain a greater understanding of each other's roles and responsibilities. We
believe this is a first of its kind project and following the pilot training course, hope to role this out to other voluntary agencies and potentially offer it nationwide."

Melissa Magna, Emergency Response Manager for the Red Cross said: "We're really pleased to form this partnership with the East of England Ambulance Service. We work very closely with all emergency services, so our volunteers are very experienced at dealing with emergency situations and helping people cope in a time of a crisis. We are very well placed to support EEAST and look forward supporting their Special Operations Response Team (SORT)."

Return to news menu