Dedicated, motivated and compassionate are just some of the words that sum up the inspiring people who volunteer at Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS), and this month marks an entire decade of their invaluable support.
KFRS volunteers are selfless individuals who give up their time to help wherever and however they can. Whether that’s supporting operational crews and office-based departments, or helping members of the public at their time of need.
Since the team launched in 2011, it’s continued to grow from strength-to-strength, both in size and with the variety of roles available, to help create a safer future for Kent and Medway.
Neil Bloxham was one of the first people to sign-up for the position 10 years ago and is now KFRS’ longest-serving volunteer.
“It’s wonderful to see how much the team has grown over the years,” Neil said. “We have a fantastic range of people of all ages and from different walks of life, who are dedicated to helping in any way they can.
“We need that diverse mix of volunteers to be able to offer the best support and care that we can to our customers, which we strive to do every day.
“For me, being a volunteer is just the best feeling in the world. I enjoy it because I get to make a difference to somebody’s day and help to keep them safe.”
Neil is joined by 38 other volunteers on the team, who each play a pivotal role across the service. The variety of responsibilities include delivering safety advice, research, working alongside the education team, and providing welfare for crews and customer care at emergency incidents.
One of the newest recruits is Vicky Day. She said: “A big part of what we do as a Service, and probably the most important part for me as a volunteer, is listening to people and being able to support them in an individual way. The customer is at the centre of everything we do.
“I would absolutely recommend volunteering to anyone - it’s the best thing you will ever do. Personally, I’ve gained so much from it and that’s because of the fantastic teamwork among the volunteers and within the wider KFRS family. We’re all in it together and we are one team.”
The volunteer team is looking to expand again, with a range of vacancies set to go live on Friday (4 June).