Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

Fire and Emergency Support Services

The British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS), in partnership with NIFRS through a Memorandum of Understanding, provide assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to those affected by many types of traumatic incidents. This assistance is provided both during and after incidents, supplementing the support available from statutory agencies.
Assistance is provided by specially and highly trained British Red Cross volunteers who give their time freely responding to incidents whenever requested to do so, using a specially adapted motor home equipped with hygiene, feeding, and rest facilities. The service also provides replacement clothing, hygiene packs and signposting to assist recovery after house fire or domestic flood, and temporary shelter.
fessFESS Vehicle outside Cadogan Station.

Other services provided at an incident include:

• Immediate emotional and practical support
• Temporary shelter within the vehicle
• Support in seeking alternative accommodation
• Support with the care of children and provision of toys and books
• Support with the care of pets
• Signposting to other organisations for further assistance and recovery
• Refreshments
• Use of a telephone
• Retrieval of personal items, data collection, and photographic evidence for occupants
• Use of shower and toilet facilities
• Provision of hygiene packs and clothing
• Transportation to alternative accommodation
• Basic First Aid and AED trained volunteers

FESS provides support to NIFRS at larger or protracted incidents through the provision of stage one feeding, toilet facilities, and comfort and rest facilities for Firefighters.

FESS are mobilised automatically to incidents involving 6 or more pumping appliances to provide fireground support, and to Level 2 and 3 Specialist Rescue Team incidents such as water rescue, rope rescue, body recovery, farming accidents, slurry incidents, wide area flooding and animal rescues.

fess2
FESS Vehicle at a multi-agency incident to rescue an individual who had fallen into a ships hold in Belfast Docks.

In recent years FESS have also provided support to family members and emergency services at Road Traffic Collisions, and staffed rest centres for people who have had to leave their homes as a result of a gas leak or security alert.FESS Teams are located strategically throughout Northern Ireland at Cadogan, Crescent Link and Enniskillen Fire Stations providing a 50 mile radius cover or 70 minute travel time to any incident.

fess-map
Locations of FESS Vehicle and 70 minute travel coverage from these locations.
Since the formation of FESS in 1999 the service has assisted in excess of 10,000 people.  This Service is entirely free to people receiving it with costs met through voluntary donations to the British Red Cross.

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