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Red Cross volunteers provide support after Shoreham air crash

24 August 2015

A Red Cross volunteer provides support in an emergency exercise

Two days after a plane crashed on a busy road in West Sussex, British Red Cross volunteers are continuing to provide support to emergency services.

A Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the A27 during an air display on Saturday afternoon.

Four Red Cross ambulances and first aid volunteers were among the first to arrive at the crash site.

They had been working at Shoreham Airshow prior to the crash as part of an event first aid team.

Richard Tyler, event first aid services manager for Kent and Sussex, said: “As soon as the plane came down we immediately sent our emergency teams to the scene.

“Working with emergency services, we treated around 15 people for injuries and set up a treatment centre.”

At least 11 people are thought to have died, but the death toll is likely to increase.

Emotional support

As well as treating injuries, Red Cross volunteers also provided emotional support to those who needed it.

“We had a lot of people with psychological and emotional issues,” added Richard.

“People were quite traumatised by what they had just seen. A lot of people just wanted someone to talk to.

“They wanted to discuss what they had seen – it was horrendous. So we tried to reassure them and keep them calm.”

As of Monday morning, two Red Cross fire and emergency support teams were still on-site supporting emergency crews.

‘Nature of the job’

Given the particularly traumatic circumstances, Richard said Red Cross volunteers had coped well in the immediate aftermath of the crash.

“It’s the nature of the job that we do,” he said. “Our volunteers are fully trained for such an incident, but you never expect it to happen.

“We had plans in place and we did what we needed to do.”

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