Firefighters help protect communities through the ‘Missing from home’ schemePosted
Firefighters from the 44 fire stations based across North Wales have joined the ‘Missing from home’ scheme which involves working together with North Wales Police to assist in searches for vulnerable missing people.
Kevin Roberts, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Dealing with a loved one going missing would be a nightmare scenario for anyone - but the stark reality revealed in statistics from North Wales Police is that 3,000 people are reported missing from home every year.
“We initially became involved in the scheme last September with selected stations taking part. We’ve now expanded the scheme so that staff at each of our 44 stations have received training and can be called upon by North Wales Police to provide assistance in searches as and when required.
“As far as we are aware, this initiative as a formal and properly coordinated arrangement is a national first. Crews remain on call for fire service incidents, but will respond to assist North Wales Police in locating people who are missing from home as and when required.
“Working in partnership is key to what we do – as well as this new scheme, our wholetime staff have just completed additional training in relation to effecting entry without causing damage, so as to assist those who are in need of emergency care whilst ensuring that crews can secure the building prior to them leaving. As well as protecting our residents in times of need, this also helps free up police officers who would otherwise be called to secure the premises.
“It’s all about working to ensure the safety of everyone and we’re thrilled to be working with North Wales Police to help protect the communities we serve.”
Richard Debicki, Assistant Chief Constable, North Wales Police said: “It is entirely proper that the emergency services are examining ways to work together to maintain and improve service to the public and we are pleased that the scheme has now been expanded across the region. This is a great example of what blue light collaboration can achieve.
“This initiative strengthens the number of emergency service professionals tasked to reports of missing persons, which should result in persons being found more quickly so minimising the possibility of them coming to harm. By bringing together our combined skills, training and equipment we can better protect the people of North Wales.”