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Volunteers respond to care home blaze

21 October 2010

Volunteer helps a person walk away from a domestic fire© InfoEmergency response teams in Scotland were quick to respond after a major fire at a care home in Inverness led to 59 dementia patients being hurriedly evacuated from the building.

As the blaze took hold in the early evening of 18 October, 23 Red Cross emergency response volunteers – equipped with emergency vehicles and wheelchairs – helped move dozens of elderly and infirm patients to safety in a nearby primary school.

The team even set up a temporary field hospital at the school, and also supplied food and blankets for the evacuees.

Local heroes

Over the next six hours, Red Cross ambulance teams helped transport the patients to alternative care homes and hospitals in seven different locations across Northern Scotland where they would be safe and comfortable.

Ian Rideout, operations director, said: “Our volunteers’ response in tackling this major incident was amazingly quick – they arrived just 20 minutes after the initial call-out – and they didn’t rest for a minute until everyone was safely re-homed.

“But I also want to pay tribute to the local people who absolutely threw themselves into helping the recovery effort, transporting patients and bringing hot drinks and provisions. They did a fantastic job.”

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