Emergency services cadets are getting out and about across Northamptonshire after taking delivery of a fully refurbished mobile unit to use for their community work supporting the police, fire and ambulance services.
Last year Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets (NESC) was given the use of an old mobile police station by Northamptonshire Police, to support cadet activities including sharing crime fighting advice, fire safety tips, first aid training and more.
The Fiat van was refurbished and will be maintained thanks to a grant from a board overseeing interoperability between Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Swann of Northamptonshire Police, who officially unveiled the NESC branded vehicle, said: “As a force we’re really proud of the cadets and the work that they do.
“The grant offered by the interoperability board is indicative of the support the emergency services offer to NESC and our ongoing commitment to them.”
Much of the refurbishment work on the bus has been carried out by PC Mick Leonard, the volunteer leader of NESC’s Kettering unit, in his spare time.
PC Leonard said: “When we were first given the vehicle it was very tired and hadn’t been used in many months, but with a bit of TLC and running repairs I was able to use it all last year for events and it was a massive help at everything from sports competitions to village community days.
“It’s a real focal point at events and helps us engage with people.
“It looks so professional and I know the cadets and our communities will really benefit from using it across Northamptonshire.”
A poll was held for cadets and unit leaders to pick a name for the bus, which is now called NOAH, the NESC Operational Access Hub, also known as the Ark.
New features include a defibrillator supplied by East Midlands Ambulance Service for providing first aid training within communities, docking points for emergency radios and devices, and a smart TV for broadcasting NESC and safety messages.
The vehicle’s office area also has air conditioning and heating systems to enable year-round use, self-charging power cells to start its generators, and drawers stocked with a wide range of crime prevention, fire safety and first aid leaflets.
It is also equipped with simple kitchen facilities to provide refreshments for cadets and the people they meet while out and about, and even has its own flags and flagpoles to help promote the NESC scheme, which is open to teenagers aged 13 to 18.
Ann-Marie Lawson, executive director of NESC, an independent registered charity, said: “I am delighted that we have this vehicle from which our cadets are able to showcase the support that all three emergency services give to young people and the communities they serve.
“Interoperability is a great way to evidence that we are stronger together.”