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Red Cross teams up with Scottish Borders Council to respond to emergencies

28 July 2009

Red Cross and Scottish Borders Council sign emergency response agreementScottish Borders CouncilThe British Red Cross has signed an agreement with Scottish Borders Council’s social work department to provide humanitarian services in a crisis.

Both organisations are trained and ready to respond to humanitarian needs in the event of major incidents and emergencies. While the other emergency services are responding to the cause of a crisis, the Red Cross and the social work department provide care and support to the people affected.

David Miller, Red Cross operations director, said: “There are 4,500 volunteers in Scotland who can be mobilised to provide support in any part of the UK.

"We hope the need never arises but we are trained and prepared. Working with our partners in Scottish Borders Council, this agreement is evidence of our commitment to assist people in their moment of need.’’

Working in emergencies

There are about 250 Red Cross-trained volunteers ready to respond in the Borders area. They make a real impact when working side by side with the social work department’s frontline workers.

The partnership was called into action when the gas supply failed in Kelso in December last year. Both organisations also played a significant role during the severe weather conditions and failed power supply in the winter of 2001, when they worked around the clock to help those affected.

Building on excellence

Andrew Lowe, director of the social work department, said: “I am delighted to be able to formally ratify this partnership as a basis for building on the excellent work we do together at times of crisis. It sometimes seems that we have more than our fair share of weather events here in the beautiful Borders, so it is important that we have trusted and valued partners standing ready.”

The council’s emergency planning manager, Ian Hogarth, worked with both organisations to develop the formal agreement that was signed this week. He said: “The Red Cross and other voluntary agencies have supported us in times of need for many years. This Memorandum of Understanding formally acknowledges the role of the British Red Cross in our emergency arrangements.”

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