Salvation Army offers support as temperatures set to soar

published on 6 Jul 2023

Emergency response vehicle
Salvation Army serves firefighters at a farm fire in Suffolk

The Salvation Army is supporting emergency service workers and rough sleepers as temperatures soar.

The church and charity’s Incident Support vehicles provide refreshments and pastoral support to 999 workers attending major incidents.

Up and down the country, The Salvation Army will also be ensuring rough sleepers have access to water, suncream and suitable clothing as temperatures increase.

Recently, volunteers supported firefighters tackling a huge blaze at the Paragon office building in Wigston, Leicestershire.

Emergency response vehicle
Plumes of smoke seen near The Salvation Army's Leicester South church

As huge plumes of smoke could be seen across the city, office workers were also evacuated to the nearby Salvation Army Leicester South church where church leaders Majors Michelle and Carl Huggins gave out refreshments and, where appropriate, offered emotional support.

Further incidents we have attended recently include:

  • Supporting firefighters tackling large wildfires in the Rhigos Mountain area in South Wales.
  • Helping at a large fire at a farm that destroyed three barns and 4,000 tonnes of straw in Pettaugh, north of Ipswich.
  • Four incidents in London.  

With temperatures set to rise across the UK again, Ady Clee, Territorial Emergency Response Officer for The Salvation Army, said: “It has been a busy few weeks for our Emergency Response teams. When the weather is hot, the conditions for firefighters are extremely tough. We are there to offer a cool drink, food, a place to take some time out and somebody to talk to as these incidents can be traumatic for the emergency workers.

Emergency response vehicle
On site at a fire in Leicester

“We are not only offering assistance from our van, but as was seen in Leicester recently our churches and community centres are often called upon to be a place of refuge for people suffering the impact of these incidents. We are grateful for the support of all of our officers, staff, volunteers and donors, who ensure we can continue to do this work helping our emergency workers and local communities.”

The Salvation Army has 25 response vehicles operating across the country which attend around 300 to 350 incidents each year.

As part of The Salvation Army’s Homelessness services, water, suncream and suitable clothing will also be provided to rough sleepers as temperatures increase.

During hot weather last month, in Cardiff, Wales, our First Response Outreach Service, which operates seven days a week supporting rough sleepers, handed out weather appropriate clothing, suncream, extra water and first aid access.

Across the North West, emergency beds are provided to rough sleepers as part of the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP), which operates all year round rather than just in the winter months.


Salvation Army Officer Cadet comforts woman

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