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Fire Service boosts support for firefighters at incidents

Firefighters kneeling at desk with agreement with rapid relief teamCambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has entered into an agreement with the Rapid Relief Team to support firefighters when they are attending prolonged incidents by providing food and refreshments.

The Rapid Relief Team (RRT) is a non-profit charitable organisation. Its volunteers are members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church and their mission is to provide voluntary support to the emergency services at large scale incidents. The volunteers make themselves available to support emergency services with a specific focus on providing refreshments such as food and drink or other practical support where incidents go on for a number of hours or even days.

RRT works on a global scale and has helped the emergency services during incidents in the UK such as Whaley Bridge and Grenfell.

The organisation deploys two trailers locally – the first contains critical equipment to get a team mobile as swiftly as possible and it contains everything from marquees to generators and utensils. The barbecue trailer has the capacity to grill 120 burgers at one time and also provides hot drinks.

The Rapid Relief Team is only available at incidents when there are six or more fire engines attending, also where the suited number of officers or crew from Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service will be present at the scene for a duration in excess of 12 hours.

Station Commander, Jamie Johnson said:  “Our values in Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service align with those of the Rapid Relief Team. Being selfless and of service to humanity is one of the main motivations behind being a firefighter. Under the new agreement, the Rapid Relief Team is now available to our fire crews when they are dealing with large, prolonged incidents. Remaining energised and hydrated with food and drink is really important for firefighter safety. We are incredibly grateful to the Rapid Relief Team for their service offer.”

Ryan Kingston, local team leader of RRT said “It’s a pleasure being able to work with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. Sometimes firefighters can end up in situations that can stretch over hours and days. We want to be there for them so they can replenish themselves whilst being on the line of duty. Being present at a national and local scale allows us to mobilise and reach incident locations rapidly.”

The charity also works with other organisations and services to help tackle homelessness, disability and engage with youth charities in the UK.