Members of the public were given an insight into the work carried out by emergency services and the support provided by The Salvation Army at the seventh annual 999 day hosted by intu Trafford Centre, Manchester on Thursday 3rd August 2017.
Rob McDonagh from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue organised the event and is Station Manager at Sale and Stretford. He said:
"We're enormously grateful to The Salvation Army's emergency response team for supporting our 999 day. They do a fantastic job offering welfare and emotional support to the fire fighters."
The Salvation Army’s Central North team, coordinated by Major Nigel Tansley, is one of the busiest teams in the territory –responding to more than 50 incidents in the last four months alone. Two of the teams’vehicles supported emergency services during the Manchester terror attacks in May this year. They were recently featured on an episode of Songs of Praise which focussed on Love Light and Unity.
Major Nigel Tansley, said: “It’s a privilege to work with the blue light services and to represent Jesus when they’re responding to particularly traumatic scenes like in the case of the Manchester terror attacks. We’re there with a hot drink and a listening ear.”
Paul Duggan, also from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, said: "In general, we always know that no matter how dark the night is, The Salvation Army's team will be there with a cup of tea allowing us to have a quiet five minutes away from, what can be, a chaotic situation. The support is invaluable."
Major Nigel has been lead chaplain for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue for more than a decade. He continued: “The Salvation Army’s Emergency Response team plays a key role in supporting the emergency services particularly when attending an incident. As soon as we get the call from the emergency services we load up our vehicle with hot drinks, snacks and sandwiches and get there as soon as we can.
“In addition to keeping emergency services personnel fed and watered we’re also on hand to provide pastoral support to anyone affected by the incident. This could be offering support to someone who has lost everything in a fire, or a member of the emergency services team who has witnessed a tragedy.”
During the 999 event, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) were joined by Greater Manchester Police (GMP), North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and a range of other emergency response, community safety and support services.
For more than 150 years The Salvation Army has been transforming lives and continues to do so today in communities across the UK and throughout the world.