accessibility & help

Flooded couple backs call for volunteers to help after fires and emergencies

29 August 2012

For immediate release  Wednesday 29 August, 2012
For further information  Samantha Whitwham swhitwham@redcross.org.uk
Contact number  0117 301 2624 or 07525 128 297

A couple whose home was flooded after a water pipe burst earlier this month has backed a call for new volunteers for the British Red Cross service that helped them in their hour of need.

When a water pipe burst at the Cardiff home of Pat and Ray Morgan in the early hours of Monday 6 August, the elderly couple were left without water and electricity for more than 16 hours.

What made the situation worse is that Mr Morgan, 77, is diabetic with limited mobility and is also recovering from cancer.

He said: “It was a terrible day. We weren’t able to make as much as a cup of tea all day and we had no idea how long we would be left without water or electricity.”

When the pipe initially burst at 2am, they called South Wales Fire and Rescue Service who quickly responded to the emergency call. After dealing with the incident, the Firefighters turned off the utilities to the property as a matter of safety, assuring the couple that the services would be restored later that day.

However, when at 6pm the couple were still without running water or electricity, they called the fire and rescue service to explain. The fire control room immediately contacted the Red Cross fire and emergency support service (FESS) to see if they could lend a hand.

Volunteers from the Red Cross FESS regularly work in partnership with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, providing emotional and practical support to those affected by house fires and other emergencies.

Volunteers Dai White and Joanne Rendle, from Cardiff and Pontypridd visited the couple to provide a warm meal and the long awaited cup of tea. They also contacted the local authority’s out-of-hours service to arrange for the utilities to be reconnected.

Dai, who has been a FESS volunteer for three years, said: “Mr and Mrs Morgan were understandably upset by what had happened to their home, which was made even worse by having to go all day without running water or electricity. They were very grateful to have someone to talk their problems through with and for the help and advice that we were able to offer.”

Mr Morgan said: “The support the volunteers gave us was absolutely wonderful. Their help made a big difference after what had been a very difficult day. They were both very kind and very caring. I really can’t praise or thank them enough.”

The FESS service, which is run by trained volunteers, is currently looking for new recruits. Using a customised vehicle, volunteers can offer immediate temporary shelter, provide first aid, clothes, food, toiletries and help find temporary accommodation and signpost people to other support organisations that can help during their time of crisis. Full training will be given and no experience is necessary.

Red Cross FESS co-ordinator Rob Green said: “Our volunteers make a real difference to people who may have lost everything at the moment they are needed the most. We are always looking for new volunteers based in the Cardiff area, so if anyone is interested in learning more about the service please contact the Red Cross.”

Potential volunteers should live within a 30 minute drive of Ely Fire Station and have access to transport as they could be called out in the middle of the night. For people who want to find out more about the role and the training provided, please contact Sarah Savigar on 01633 245750 or email SSavigar@redcross.org.uk.


Alternatively, visit www.redcross.org.uk/FESS for further information.

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

Follow us on Twitter: @BRC_West

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