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Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS)

The British Red Cross gives invaluable support to Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, and people across the whole county, through its Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS).

The service, which is run by trained staff and volunteers, helps people to cope after they have had a fire or any emergency by providing practical help, advice and comfort. Anyone affected by the incident benefits from the service, particularly those who are vulnerable.

More than 300 people are helped by FESS every year and the support they give helps them to plan how they will recover from their situation.

How is the service activated?

The fire officer at the incident asks Control Room staff to request FESS to attend. They then send their volunteers to the incident in a specially-equipped vehicle. The service aims to be available day and night, 365 days a year.

What sort of help do they provide?

Emotional support

FESS staff and volunteers provide emotional support at a time of personal crisis. They listen and offer advice about the circumstances people find themselves in following a traumatic incident. They enable people to make their own decisions, whenever possible, and can access help from statutory and other agencies on an individual's behalf.

Practical help

Some of the practical support offered includes:

  • A place of shelter and privacy.
  • Food and refreshments.
  • Contacting organisations such as insurance companies, social services, utility companies.
  • Contacting landlords who may be able to arrange alternative accommodation.
  • Taking individuals to friends/relatives or alternative accommodation.
  • A change of clothes and footwear.
  • Washing facilities and toiletries.
  • Toys/amusements for children.
  • Food for pets and signposting to pet accommodation providers.
  • Replacing prescriptions/medicine.
  • Access to other Red Cross services.

Finding out more

The help given by FESS is free for individuals and it supplements the support provided by the statutory services. They rely upon the generosity of individual and corporate donations.

To find out more about the Fire and Emergency Support Service and how you can get involved please contact:

Rhea Sutton
Emergency Response Officer
Humanity House
Colliers Way,
Phoenix Park,
NG8 6AT 

Telephone: 07850514347​​​​

Or visit the Red Cross Website at