The Salvation Army can confirm that two of its emergency response vehicles are at the scene of a critical fire in London. Volunteers arrived at 3am following a request to support the coordinated effort from the London fire service. They have been, and continue to support all emergency service crews as firefighters, police officers and the ambulance service continue to work tirelessly.
The Salvation Army runs a number of emergency response teams across the UK, which offer support to our emergency services with on-site refreshment and emotional support, and by directing individuals who are affected by incidents to care or rest centres.
The Salvation Army’s emergency response vehicles attend between 170-200 call-outs per year.
The Salvation Army is coordinating an effort to support emergency services at Grenfell Tower in West London through the rest of the day, into the evening and possibly into tomorrow and Friday. Its emergency response van will remain on site to offer support to all emergency service crews and provide guidance to members of the public looking for places of rest and safety. Salvation Army volunteers are on hand to man its emergency response van while local Salvation Army corps (church) members are coordinating donations of food and refreshments for emergency services and donations of items such as toiletries for use by the designated rest centres. As part of the coordinated local community response, our corps in Notting Hill is opening as a Family response centre and will be operated by a team of Salvation Army volunteers.Captain Ruth Gray, who with her husband Karl, has been co-ordinating The Salvation Army's emergency response on the ground, said: "We have an understanding with the fire brigade, who asked us to come and support at this tragic incident that happened early this morning. "We drove to Shoreditch Fire Station, where our emergency response van is located, and that is permanently stocked with food - chocolate bars, crisps and cans of pop. We picked up items for sandwiches on the way from local shops so that we can support the emergency services and anyone at the incident who needs our help. "It is horrendous. I have never seen anything this tragic. People are really glad to have someone be kind and offer them a cup of tea, someone who is just prepared to listen to them." Ruth asks that people keep those affected by this incident in their prayers. She adds: "People have witnessed things they would rather have never seen. People can pray for the people who will provide long-term support. People have been made homeless, their homes have gone and how people deal with that I don't know. We pray that people find hope in a really horrendous situation and we pray for the emergency services who continue to work so tirelessly."