Could you help out in an emergency in Northants?

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage

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The county council’s emergency planning team is encouraging people across the county to consider becoming a volunteer to help out in times of need.

The Northamptonshire Emergency Response Corps (NERC), a community organisation that brings together the various agencies involved in emergency response in the county, was launched today (Wednesday).

Its aims are to make sure people in Northamptonshire are better prepared for an emergency, to test emergency plans through regular training exercises and to encourage more people to volunteer with the various emergency planning and welfare agencies involved.

NERC’s members include the Northamptonshire 4X4 Response Team, the British Red Cross, Northampton Emergency Aid Team and Northants Search and Rescue.

Cllr André González de Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection, said: “The Northamptonshire Emergency Response Corps will enable the various highly-skilled and professional statutory and voluntary organisations involved with emergency planning to ensure we are best prepared to respond to an emergency, from a major fire or a flood to a missing person.

“Alongside agencies like the police, the fire service and the Environment Agency, the voluntary sector plays a vital role in emergency planning and we could not respond to some incidents without their expertise.

“There are a wide variety of volunteering opportunities available, from becoming a community resilience volunteer or a flood warden to staffing a reception centre for evacuees.

“We even have volunteer roles for those who want to help in the running of the group such as marketing and website management.

“I would encourage anyone who thinks they may have the skills to support our work to get in touch to find out more.”

Volunteers don’t need to commit a minimum amount of time a month, they just need to be on-call when they can.

They will also receive regular training, information and support to maintain their skills and knowledge.

Further details about the Northamptonshire Emergency Response Corps and the volunteer roles available can be found at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/getinvolved.