Volunteers on hand after massive power cut in the Dales

Substation Fire: Fire crews and emergency services attend the fire at the main substation near Winster, which cut off the electricity to Matlock, Ashbourne, Bakewell and Wirksworth.
Substation Fire: Fire crews and emergency services attend the fire at the main substation near Winster, which cut off the electricity to Matlock, Ashbourne, Bakewell and Wirksworth.

British Red Cross volunteers were on hand throughout the night (Wednesday October 12) supporting residents following a massive power cut.

Western Power Distribution contacted the charity following a major explosion and fire at an electricity substation near Winster.

The Red Cross has an arrangement with the electricity board to send staff, volunteers and specially adapted vehicles after an incident to help look after the needs of the local community.

While WPD staff worked through the night to try to restore supplies, Red Cross volunteers were on hand to provide support to those in need, providing warm drinks, hot water to warm baby’s bottles and food making facilities.

The Red Cross also visited homes vulnerable people and gave them special packs provided by Western Power including useful items such as blankets, gloves, information sheets, torch, a pen and an analogue phone.

Three Red Cross fire and emergency support vehicles and first aid unit were sent to the area, with one of the vehicles being parked at a local care home to provide support to the residents there. Over 30 Red Cross volunteers have been working in shifts and the Red Cross will continue to be on hand for as long as we are needed. Over 100 people have been helped so far by the Red Cross.

The specially adapted fire and emergency support vehicles are normally used after a house fire to provide people with somewhere safe to go, where they can talk to specially trained volunteers and be comfortable and warm while they make alternative arrangements.

Sue Thompson, Red Cross emergency response senior service manager in Derbyshire who was at the scene last night says: “Our volunteers were very quick to respond. They’ve worked tirelessly throughout the night to support people by special packs, reassurance and by working alongside Western Power to keep people informed about the situation.”

The Red Cross is currently running an appeal for a new fire and emergency support vehicle for the Derbyshire area. For more details visit

http://www.redcross.org.uk/Donate-Now/Make-a-single-donation/Derbyshire-Vehicle-Appeal