accessibility & help

British Red Cross volunteers offer support throughout night after Derbyshire substation fire

British Red Cross volunteers were on hand throughout the night last night (Wednesday 12 October) and continue to be supporting local residents after a fire broke out at an electricity substation near Winster in Derbyshire.

The Red Cross has an arrangement with Western Power Distribution (WPD) which covers Derbyshire along with other counties across the East and West Midlands to send staff, volunteers and specially adapted vehicles after an incident to help look after the needs of the local community.

While WPD staff worked through the night to try to restore supplies, Red Cross volunteers were on hand to provide support to those in need, providing warm drinks, hot water to warm baby’s bottles and food making facilities. The Red Cross also visited the homes of people who had been identified as among the more vulnerable in the community and gave them special packs provided by Western Power including useful items such as blankets, gloves, information sheets, torch, a pen and an analogue phone.

Three Red Cross fire and emergency support vehicles and first aid unit were sent to the area, with one of the vehicles being parked at a local care home to provide support to the residents there. Over 30 Red Cross volunteers have been working in shifts and the Red Cross will continue to be on hand for as long as we are needed. Over 100 people have been helped so far by the Red Cross.

The specially adapted fire and emergency support vehicles are normally used after a house fire to provide people with somewhere safe to go, where they can talk to specially trained volunteers and be comfortable and warm while they make alternative arrangements.

Sue Thompson, Red Cross emergency response senior service manager, Derbyshire who was at the scene last night says: “Our volunteers were very quick to respond. They’ve worked tirelessly throughout the night to support people by special packs, reassurance and by working alongside Western Power to keep people informed about the situation.”

The Red Cross is currently running an appeal for a new fire and emergency support vehicle for the Derbyshire area. For more details visit

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.

For more information about the Red Cross please visit