Volunteering in Cambridgeshire for emergency services
Special constables worked more than 6,700 shifts with Cambridgeshire Police in a year and 150 fire service volunteers supported the vaccine rollout.
These are just some of the numbers emerging as Cambridgeshire Emergency Services commemorate the efforts of its volunteers, who have served in various roles during the pandemic.
June 1-7 is Volunteer Week, where volunteers are recognized for their contribution to communities.
And Cambridgeshire Police and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service have both applauded the efforts of their volunteers over the past year.
Police publicly thanked the hundreds of volunteers for their support, from special constables to cadet leaders.
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Between April of last year and March this year, specials worked more than 6,700 shifts – the equivalent of 46,000 hours of service.
They have witnessed more than 2,800 incidents, stopped over 1,900 vehicles and aided or made 667 arrests in Cambridgeshire.
Police Chief Nick Dean thanked them for “their hard work and determination throughout a very difficult year.”
He said: “Volunteers are an inspiration to all of us and I am constantly impressed with their commitment and support and hope they will be an inspiration to others.”
Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston had this message for the volunteers.
“Your commitment, professionalism and determination have been exceptional,” he said.
Among those highlighted by police were: Lynda Taylor, the force’s senior chaplain; Paul Watson, the Wisbech Police Cadet Chief; and police student Billy Cunningham.
Lynda explained that she could “sometimes be a supportive ‘friend’ when times are tough” for officers and staff.
She said, “I’m also learning a lot about the demands and pressures of modern police, which can inform my conversations with the wider community, including religious organizations and local leaders.
“It can help build bridges and strengthen neighborhood partnerships. “
Paul is a public health nurse and spends his free time leading the Wisbech Police Cadets where he provides training and support to youth.
He said: “Volunteering isn’t just about what you give to others in the form of time or knowledge, it’s more about what you get from other team members.
“Being a part of the cadet team helps me see other perspectives on life, culture, experiences and future opportunities.
Billy, 17, joined the cadets as a first step towards a career in law enforcement and described his experience as being in “a big police family”.
He said: “I would definitely recommend volunteering.
“I come from a gypsy traveler background and the Cadets accepted me like any other Cadet, and I rose through the ranks to be one of the first Cadet Sergeants in Cambridgeshire Police.”
Meanwhile, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue has highlighted those who have supported the nationwide rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination.
About 150 service volunteers, including senior officers, firefighters, call managers and support staff donated 4,400 hours of their time across the county.
Their roles included helping set up vaccination centers, assisting patients and managing parking lots.
Some have also been trained to administer vaccines by the British Red Cross and St. John Ambulance.
Area Commander Wayne Swales, the coordinating support officer, said, “We are really proud of the fantastic support our staff have given to the vaccination deployment.
“When more sites were needed, groups of volunteers helped set up large-scale vaccination centers in Cambridge, Peterborough and Wisbech.”
“Even our general managers have mobilized to support the program. Fire Chief Chris Strickland has been a regular assistant at the Grafton Center site in Cambridge. “
He added: “It is clear that we need to balance our core responsibilities as a fire and rescue service and contribute to the national immunization effort.
“We made sure we had enough crews available to respond to emergencies while providing our partners with this level of support. “
If you are interested in becoming a police volunteer, visit the volunteer pages of the Cambridgeshire Police website.