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Caithness News Bulletins July 2007
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Red Cross send Scottish flood rescue team to Gloucestershire
A British Red Cross specialist flood relief and rescue team from the North of Scotland has been sent to Gloucestershire to help the thousands of people affected by the unprecedented and devastating floods across England in the past two weeks.
The team of 10 Scottish volunteers and staff - from Inverness, Elgin, Kyle of Lochalsh and Aberdeen - arrived in Gloucester early this morning (Tuesday 24th July 2007) with four 4-wheel drive vehicles and two specialist flood relief rescue boats.
The team will provide vital support to the emergency services, helping to evacuate people from their homes and getting supplies and water to those who are trapped, as well as assisting the local Red Cross team who are already running a number of rest centres and delivering aid in the affected areas.
Ian Rideout, Operations Director for the Red Cross in Northern Scotland, explains: "Northern Scotland is home to the Red Cross' first UK flood relief and rescue team so we're in a unique position to help.
"Over the last year the team have taken part in specialist swift water rescue training alongside the coastguard, so have the skills and capability to save people from fast-flowing rivers, floods and white water.
"We also launched the first Red Cross flood relief and rescue boat in April this year, which we've brought with us alongside an additional boat supplied by Caley Marina in Inverness. These boats are specially designed to work in very shallow water and have a bow door to allow casualties to remain horizontal - on a stretcher or wheelchair - as they taken on and off the boat.
"Two of the four-wheel drive vehicles we've brought also have snorkels so are suitable for driving through deep water, which will allow us to deliver water to people whose supply has been cut off."
The Northern Scotland Red Cross flood relief and rescue team have already put their skills to the test and worked alongside the coastguard and police when heavy rain led to flooding, landslides and fallen trees in Dingwall and Easter Ross last October. A team of Red Cross flood relief and rescue volunteers helped evacuate people trapped by the flooding and get aid to those requiring medication.
Ian Rideout added: "Sadly, we're seeing more and more floods and as an emergency response organisation, the Red Cross has to make sure we have the right equipment and skills to be there for people when the worst happens - whether that's in Scotland, the UK or even further a field."
The British Red Cross has today launched an urgent appeal for people affected by the floods, which have wreaked havoc across England in the past two weeks, destroying homes and livelihoods, and bringing misery to hundreds of thousands of people.
Money raised from the Red Cross National Floods Appeal will go to help communities in hardship rebuild their lives. The Red Cross will work closely with affected communities, and local, regional and UK government to ensure the money goes to those who have been hardest hit. The fund will target vulnerable people most in need.
Tesco, for whom the British Red Cross is Charity of the Year, have donated £100,000 to the appeal and a further £100,000 has been donated from the British Red Cross' Disaster Fund.
Sir Nicholas Young, Chief Executive of the British Red Cross, said: "I have been to see parts of the country that have been completely devastated by the floods. Streets are several feet deep in filthy brown water and the water is lapping in though ground floor windows. The country has not seen flooding on this scale since 1947 and there appears to be more unsettled weather, which is likely to bring further problems. Red Cross volunteers have been doing a fantastic job, many up all night in rest centres, or bringing in fresh supplies to affected areas."
To donate to the British Red Cross National Floods Appeal go to www.redcross.org.uk/floodsappeal or call 0845 054 7200
Donations can also be made by post to:
British Red Cross National Floods Appeal
Red Cross Boat 3 & 4 show the launch of the specialised
flood relief and rescue boat in Inverness in April this year. Ian is
pictured far right in Red Cross Boat 3, with staff member and volunteer
Ross Bartlett far left.
FLOOD APPEAL RAISES £300,000 IN FIRST HOUR
The British Red Cross National Floods Appeal has raised over £300,000 in the first hour after it's launch today, 24 July.
Donations have been received from Tesco, Halifax, and GlaxoSmithKline. The Red Cross has also donated £100,000 to the appeal from it's own disaster fund.
The appeal's launch has been welcomed by the UK government. Flood Recovery Minister John Healey said: "We have a massive job ahead of us and it is only right that we should all be pulling together to ensure that aid gets to the most vulnerable communities as fast as possible. The Red Cross initiative is a welcome addition to the work we are already doing with local authorities to support the victims of the floods. The British are always generous and this is a way for people and companies to show their support for those affected."
Money raised from the Red Cross National Floods Appeal will go to help communities in hardship rebuild their lives. We will work closely with affected communities, local, regional and UK government to ensure the money goes to those who have been hardest hit. The Fund will target vulnerable people most in need who have been affected by recent floods across the UK.
To donate to the British Red
Cross National Floods Appeal go to
www.redcross.org.uk/floodsappeal or call 0845 054 7200