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Volunteers with 4x4s to help police in emergencies in Sussex
Volunteers are to be given the chance to help police deal with major emergencies.
Sussex 4x4 Response and Sussex Police have signed an agreement that will see the charity’s members support officers at major incidents.
Under the new agreement, members of Sussex 4x4 Response will volunteer to help with transportation in difficult conditions at short notice around the clock.
Roles could include trips such as taking key staff to work so they can do their jobs, delivering supplies or equipment to officers involved in operations or helping with search and rescue operations.
The idea was trialled successfully by Sussex Police during the sudden snowfall in the county in March when Sussex 4x4 Response volunteers helped get 999 control centre staff to their offices to keep the emergency telephones working.
Inspector Andy Kundert, Sussex Police’s head of emergency planning, said: “The Sussex 4x4 Response volunteers could be of great help in an emergency.
“They will allow us to help more people by reducing the logistical problems that can be caused by extreme weather or difficult ground conditions, especially in more rural locations.
“We will be able to concentrate on doing our job of keeping people safe.”
Volunteers will have to undergo first aid training, learn advanced driver skills and be given health and safety guidance before they can get involved.
They will also be vetted and will have to sign a health declaration and confirm their vehicle is in good working order.
In an emergency, senior officers will contact the charity’s co-ordinators who will mobilise volunteers.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I am delighted to see this agreement in place between Sussex Police and Sussex 4x4 Response members, which recognises the vital support they can provide during certain incidents to help keep residents safe.
“Volunteers play an important role in the communities they serve and I am seeking to support other schemes like this.”
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