Victims of fire, floods and other emergencies in Rutland will receive help and support from the British Red Cross following a new partnership.
The charity has teamed up with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, which serves the county, to give aid to families and individuals in need at crucial times.
From June 1, the British Red Cross will have a fire and emergency support vehicle at Oakham fire station which will attend incidents alongside fire crews, and will be stocked with essentials like food, clothing and toiletries.
From the shelter of the vehicle volunteers can give practical support, like helping people find alternative accommodation or start making an insurance claim, as well as vital emotional support.
The charity is launching the scheme in Rutland after successfully running the service in Leicestershire for more than 11 years.
Simon Headley, fire and emergency support service co-ordinator for the British Red Cross, said: “We’re excited to be extending our service to cover Rutland.
“A domestic fire or flood can be an incredibly traumatic experience. It’s our job to give the individuals affected whatever support we can after their crisis.
“Someone could just need to use a phone, some fresh, clean clothes or warm up a baby’s bottle. They all seem like small things, but when you may have been left homeless or lost everything in a fire they can be incredibly important.”
Oakham’s station manager Tim Hiskens said: “We are delighted to work with the Red Cross on this initiative.
“The consequences of a serious fire or flood on the occupants of a home can often be devastating.
“While we do everything we can to prevent fires occurring in the first place, and deal with them speedily and effectively when they do occur, there are often occasions when we wish we could do more for those affected.
“This new team in Rutland will enable us to bolster the fantastic support the Red Cross already provide from Leicester and I have no doubt that it will be of great benefit to the communities of Rutland in the future.”