4. Volunteers

Voluntary organisations

The emergency services, and/or the local authorities are involved in a major incident, can ask for assistance from voluntary and other support organisations. In a major incident, we co-ordinate the voluntary organisations assistance.

British Red Cross

The British Red Cross Society has a primary duty to support the responders and authorities. Their role is to provide first aid, nursing and welfare services.  In an emergency, or major incident, the Red Cross assist the ambulance service, the health community and the local authority. They can offer the use of buildings and vehicles with its trained first aid staff and support personnel, including doctors and nurses. They can also offer an International tracing service, including health and welfare reports for relatives overseas.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army specialises in the provision of meals and snacks, clothing and shelter, a personal enquiry service and the tracing of relatives. With social services it will assist with evacuee and family care, documentation, welfare, administration and the limited provision of transport with drivers and escorts.

St John Ambulance

St John Ambulance is not used as a front line ambulance service but could carry out day-to-day functions so professional crews could be deployed to a major incident. Support is offered in the following roles:

  • Ambulances – all crews are trained in ambulance aid
  • First aid – St John Ambulance staff are trained in basic first aid, and the use of first aid equipment
  • Doctors and nurses – most divisions have qualified doctors and nurses
  • Other resources – working with other organisations, St John could provide transport and help out at
  • Emergency Rest Centres

The Radio Amateurs Emergency Network (RAYNET)

RAYNET’s role is to provide extra communications to overlay or fill gaps during an emergency or major incident.  Its equipment includes VHF and UHF static, mobile and hand portable radio.  Both speech and data can be carried.

Bucks and Oxon 4x4 Response Group (BORG)

BORG are a Motor Sport Association registered club who’s role in an emergency is to support the Emergency Services, Emergency Planning and other user groups with logistical support and transport over difficult terrain and in adverse weather. Within their membership, they have access to several different 4x4 vehicles with equipment and scope to provide support in a wide variety of situations. They also have a team of trained and enthusiastic volunteers with a selection of different skills who are willing and capable to assist in times of need.

Religious and cultural needs

A major incident may involve people from many religious and ethnic cultures. People affected by a major incident may be victims, or friends and family of victims. Those involved might not be able to speak English or have religious requirements relating to medical treatment, hygiene, diet and places for prayer. There may also be specific requirements in regard to the care of the deceased and the timing of funeral arrangements. In such circumstances inter-denominational and ethnic minority support is available through social services, Churches Together in Buckinghamshire and Buckinghamshire Racial Equality Council.

Additional support

Other voluntary organisations have agreed to assist local authorities, on a goodwill basis, as required:

  • Bucks Federation of Women’s Institutes
  • Bucks Search and Rescue
  • Bucks and Oxon 4x4 Response Group
  • Keynes 4x4 Club
Print entire guide

Last updated: 12 March 2019

Was this page helpful?

Very poor
Neither good nor poor
Very good