Emergency services call for new volunteers

Police cadet Maisie, 14, pictured standing at Gloucester Docks.
Community police cadet Maisie said volunteering has opened up lots of opportunities [BBC]

Police, fire and search and rescue teams set out to meet residents earlier in a bid to attract more volunteers.

Representatives from across the emergency services attended an event at Gloucester Docks to talk to members of the public about getting involved.

Existing volunteers also put on displays, including a water rescue demonstration and a water pumping demonstration.

Community police cadet Maisie, 14, said: "If you join, there's nothing to lose. If you don't like it you can always leave, but if you never try it you're never going to have that opportunity."

Special police constable Linda O'Brien standing at the event in front of a police car.
Linda O'Brien urged people in Gloucestershire to get involved with a huge range of roles [BBC]

Asked why people should consider volunteering, Linda O'Brien, a special constable with Gloucestershire Police, added: "Any role that you volunteer in you'll get specialist training, which can help you out in your daily life and your work life as well."

She added: "There's a sense of accomplishment and also a sense of pride, knowing you're giving back and helping your community.

"We see people in the worst case scenario usually, sometimes at their best, but we get to help people and we get to know that when we go home we've made a difference."

A range of emergency service vehicles were at the event, with visitors also able to access fraud prevention advice, health advice and blood pressure checks.

Range of opportunties

Gloucestershire Police said it was looking for at least 20 new volunteers to join the service, particularly special constables and cadet leaders.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service also said it was looking for around 20 volunteers, including people interested in delivery safety information to children in schools.

Meanwhile the Severn Area Rescue Association and Great Western Air Ambulance Charity said they were looking for as many types of volunteers as possible, in roles as varied as lifeboat crews and land search teams to defibrillator training.

Maisie said: "I'd never really get to have these opportunities if I wasn't in the police cadets. I did a 'speed op' on Wednesday where I got to talk to the community, using a speed gun.

"I [also] got to do some cardio training with the bleep test and we also did some riot training with batons and shields."

There are currently 500 volunteers working for Gloucestershire Police alone, and last year they gave more than 45,000 hours of their time to help.

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