For immediate release November 3, 2011
For further information Clare O’Keefe firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact number 01565 682330/ out of hours 07525 128383
A VEHICLE used to help those affected by fires is out-of-action over the busy Bonfire weekend after being vandalised.
British Red Cross volunteers in Birkenhead had been gearing up to be on heightened alert over the coming days – when fireworks and bonfires can lead to an increased demand for their help.
Their fire and emergency support service vehicle contains food, clothing and supplies to help people whose homes have been damaged by fire or flood.
But the vehicle is now off the road after staff found it had been broken into, and its contents stolen.
They discovered the damage at 8.45am on Monday (October 31) – when they found clothes and food had been taken, and the steering wheel damaged.
It is thought to have happened late on Sunday, or in the early hours on Monday, in a secured car park at the British Red Cross site at Claughton Road in Birkenhead.
Staff alerted the police, who are looking into the incident.
Sharon Devlin, co-ordinator for fire and emergency support service, said: “We are always on call to help out in the aftermath of a fire, but with Bonfire night coming up we were on heightened alert.
“We will be able to call on our colleagues in Manchester or Preston, but Merseyside now has no vehicle on call until it has been repaired and restocked.”
She added: “This will cost the Red Cross hundreds of pounds to rectify but above all it will deny Merseyside people of the help they need at a time of crisis.”
The service is expected to be off the road for several weeks – though the British Red Cross is always looking for volunteers for its offices in Birkenhead. Anyone interested can call 0151 666 8228 to find out more.