13 January 2009
Alex Maguire/BRCAs fire crews battled a blaze at a block of flats in Ballynahinch, Red Cross volunteers were on hand to offer help and comfort to the victims and firefighters.
The Red Cross fire and emergency support service (FESS) team provided the victims with shelter, clothing and toiletries as well as emotional support and practical advice. Fire service crew commander Clive Hamilton was one of those who answered emergency calls about the blaze.
Advice and support
Clive, who is also a team leader with the Belfast FESS, took a call from a man who was trapped the building. The man and his friend were trapped in a flat directly opposite the source of the fire and Clive provided emergency advice and support to the men until the fire crews arrived.
After his shift at the control centre, Clive made his way to the scene in his capacity as a Red Cross FESS volunteer.
Along with the rest of the FESS team, Clive provided further help and support to the victims of the blaze, including the man he had helped over the phone.
Clive said: "While bringing extra supplies to the rest of the FESS team, I was able to meet the man I had spoken to on the emergency call. He was still in shock, as you would expect, but he was very grateful.
"It was the first time I had ever met someone that I had helped in both roles and it was great to be able to provide extra support through the FESS."
Food and shelter
Clive added: "All of the victims were glad to see the FESS team on site as we were able to provide not only food and shelter, but also practical advice about things like housing, social services and insurance.
"Working with the FESS is very rewarding. I would encourage anyone who can spare a few hours per month to get involved because it can make a big impact on people's lives and it’s a great chance to give something back to their community."
Listen to an interview with Clive Hamilton
Find out more about the fire and emergency support service
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