KFRS volunteer Veronica Cruise
With just a week to go until the Kent Fire and Rescue Service volunteer application window closes, long-term volunteer, Veronica Cruise, talks about why she has dedicated more than a decade of her life to helping others.
The 51-year-old from Rochester has volunteered with KFRS for the past six years, and seven years prior to that with Kent Air Ambulance.
Being naturally drawn to helping others and with excellent people skills, Veronica has enjoyed balancing the role with her day job, working for a cake supply company.
She said: “When I spotted the advert just a day before the closing date for applications six years ago, I was really surprised to see KFRS recruiting for volunteers to engage with members of the public.
“I was so impressed with the training opportunities and the variety of areas covered by the fire service. It’s not just about putting out fires or dealing with floods, there’s very much a focus on the welfare of vulnerable people and families, prevention and protection.”
The mother of one has gained lots of skills while in her volunteer role, and has completed courses including first aid, health and safety, food hygiene, flood defence and dementia awareness.
She said: “I’ve learnt a lot and met so many people, I really enjoy it. It’s a hobby that makes a difference and it’s so rewarding when you’re able to help vulnerable people who need guidance and home safety advice.
“As volunteers, many people think we only go to events and hand out leaflets, but there’s so much more to it.”
After a period of gaining confidence and building skills, volunteers can apply to be a member of the Volunteer Response Team and get involved at incidents, whether it be helping to direct traffic or supporting someone involved in an incident.
“I once helped a lady after a fire in her property by making necessary phone calls to the gas and electricity supplier and I also called her insurance company for her."
Click here to find out more about becoming a volunteer with Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
Applications close on Tuesday, 29 May 2018.