When there’s an emergency we all expect the police, fire and health services to play a big part. The local council often plays a big part as well.

What isn’t so obvious though is the role of voluntary groups during emergencies. For example the Red Cross, Mountain Rescue and others can often play a key role in dealing with an emergency.

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Very recently voluntary groups from across North Wales took part in an event to find out the services that they can provide in terms of planning for and responding to an emergency. It turns out they’re a very valuable asset and complement the work of the blue light services very well.

Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard who is Chair of the North Wales Resilience Forum said: “Whilst organisations such as the emergency services, local authorities and health boards have frameworks in place to plan and deal with major emergencies, the voluntary sector has an important role to play in supporting these statutory bodies.

“Access to specialist equipment”

“The voluntary sector can provide a wide range of skills and services in responding to an emergency, from practical support such as first aid, access to specialist equipment, to support with counselling as required.

“We know that engaging with voluntary organisations in preparing for potential emergencies in terms of planning, training and exercising can only benefit how we respond in the event of an emergency.

“This regional event provided an excellent opportunity for those organisations that have statutory responsibilities to better understand the services that the voluntary sector can provide and allow us to build on the relationships that are already in place on a local level. Many thanks to all who were involved in arranging the event”

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