Contact Us

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service


146 Bolton Road

Swinton, Manchester

M27 8US

Tel: 0161 736 5866

For a FREE Safe and Well visit please call:

0800 555 815

British Red Cross

THE British Red Cross and Emergency Support volunteers provide vital crisis support to people across Greater Manchester who are forced to leave their homes.

Known as The Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS), trained volunteers are on-call 365 days a year, seven nights a week (7pm to 7am weeknights).

When called on, they attend incidents in a vehicle that was purchased in 2014 thanks to money raised by local fundraisers including Manchester Central firefighters who worked hard to secure the £40,000 vehicle.

The vehicle is equipped with clean clothes, refreshments, a telephone, baby food, nappies, pet food and a camera to record the scene for insurance claims.

FESS vehicle WEB.jpg

Volunteers are on hand to provide emotional support and advice to victims including issuing them with a What Now? booklet, which contains helpful information and relevant organisations that may be able to assist in the aftermath of an incident.

The booklet also gives practical advice on cleaning up after a fire or flood.

About the volunteers
Volunteers meet on a monthly basis at Manchester Central Fire Station and receive all necessary training to perform the required tasks, including working in tandem with GMFRS at the scene of an incident, first aid training, child protection and support training and disability awareness training.

Volunteers also learn about overcoming barriers to communication.

Could you be a volunteer?
The service, in order to consistently and continually assist people in crisis, welcomes new volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Alison Foy on 0161 888 8912 or email  

Volunteers are required to be on-call, ready to help individuals or families with advice, support and the use of items provided in the Fire and Emergency Support Vehicle.

The role includes:

  • Being called out in the middle of the night, at weekends and on public holidays.
  • Provide crucial emotional support to families who are distressed.
  • Provide a warm, safe and private environment.
  • Help people find temporary accommodation.
  • Signpost people to the organisations and agencies who are able to help.

Volunteers must:

  • Be of a caring disposition and be keen to help others.
  • Enjoy meeting people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
  • Understand the needs of people who are distressed.
  • Be reasonably fit and healthy.
  • Be prepared to undertake essential training.
  • Must have access to own transport.
  • Be prepared to work within the seven fundamental principles of the Red Cross - humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

Read more about the FESS service at

Last update: 23/03/2016 08:19:47
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