Let’s be honest, many of us don’t even give the amazing people within the emergency services a second thought, until an accident or disaster is covered on the TV, or when we find ourselves in a situation where we need their help.
Even then, there’s very little awareness of just how many individuals are involved with each emergency. You might remember the paramedic who came to your aid, or the police officer who lent a helping hand with your troubles, but there are many others working in the background that support those on the frontline to keep everyone safe and sound.
That’s why we’re shining a light on each and every one of the dedicated members of our emergency services. We want to boost awareness of the many different roles within each of the emergency services and highlight the life-changing work they do, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Do you know who makes up your emergency services?
When it comes to our UK emergency services, do you know how many members make up a team, or which roles are responsible for certain aspects of handling an emergency?
There may be more people involved in the emergency services then you realise, and we want to make sure everybody involved gets the recognition they deserve. We’ve put together a list of the emergency services and the various roles below, that make up these essential services.
The ambulance service
You’ll find a number of different ambulance services across the UK, each one of which provides essential and potentially life-saving care. Whether it’s a large scale accident or attending to someone within their own home, the ambulance service plays an immense role in helping those in need.
Did you know that the ambulance service consists of more roles than the paramedics that come to your aid? From the call handler that takes the 999 call and sends the paramedics to your door, to the emergency care assistants that support the paramedics during their time with you. Let’s not also forget the ambulance care assistants, who take care of those who don’t need an ambulance, but need taking to and from the hospital regularly.
When we think of the ambulance service, our minds immediately turn to the paramedics on the frontline. Of course, they do an incredible job on a daily basis, but let’s not forget about the other roles who are helping and supporting them on the sidelines.
The fire and rescue service
During an emergency, you’ll see a fire and rescue team take on one of the most perilous elements, something that takes utter bravery and dedication to face. However, within these teams are various roles and responsibilities, that make the group work so well together.
Whilst the frontline firefighters are tackling blazes, there are various levels of responsibility, from crew managers, to watch managers, to station managers and so on. Their responsibilities include making sure the team is working together as smoothly, safely and efficiently as possible, so that as many emergencies are tended to as possible. There’s also retained firefighters, who come to the call of the rest of the team as and when they are needed. They play a vital role within the fire and rescue service, dropping whatever they are doing at the time, to assist the full time team with an emergency.
It can be easy to forget about the many roles that the fire and rescue service is concerned with. They don’t just respond to fires, they also attend road, rail and air accidents, prevent accidents from happening and play a big part in the anti-terrorism service.
The Police Force
When it comes to the police force, there are many different branches and sects which help with various aspects of crime and emergencies. These can range from smaller crimes like theft, to larger and more dangerous situations like terrorist attacks.
Out on the streets, you’ll see the likes of PCSOs, constables and mounted branches, who are responsible for the day to day safety of our communities. There’s also the sergeants, inspectors, chief inspectors, superintendents and chief superintendents, all varying levels of police force management, who work towards making sure the teams are functioning at their best.
Then there’s the more unique roles that you won’t typically see out in the local community on a regular basis. From the firearms units who have a huge responsibility during the most crucial times, the underwater search units who take to the depths in search of vital objects, to the air support units taking to the skies to assist units on the ground. Let’s not also forget the more specialist roles, including counter-terrorist command, drug squads and fraud investigation units, to name just a few.
Together, the various roles within the police force work seamlessly together, to make sure the many communities across the country and kept as safe and sound as possible.
Search and Rescue
Search and rescue teams can be found in even the most remote of areas, providing vital help and assistance to people at crucial times. From the coastguard and beach lifeguards offering aid along the shoreline and in the water, the cave rescue teams heading into the darkness for the sake of another, to the mountain rescue teams reaching epic heights to lend a helping hand.
Many search and rescue teams are built on a voluntary basis and rely on donations from outside sources, as well as individuals working long hours for free. They go above and beyond to see to the needs of those in danger, who need a helping hand in the most difficult places to reach.
Due to their specific and rather remote locations, it’s not uncommon for the work of these teams to go unnoticed - many people that live and work in built up areas or further inland may never need them. That being said, they are there for people at times and in places where many others couldn’t be. It takes physical and emotional strength to tackle the terrain and environment they’re based within, to then help and assist someone in need.