Following last winter's assistance provided by Lothian 4x4 Response to Falkirk Council in providing 4x4 support, thus ensuring that vital carers were able to visit their clients at home and meals on wheels continued to be delivered. This support helped to minimise any unnecessary suffering due to the severe weather. Falkirk Council has taken the initiative to bolster its severe weather plans by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the team volunteers. Lothian 4x4 Response is a Scottish Registered Charity, formed in January 2010. The Teams Volunteers provide 4x4 Transport and Logistics in times of need. The Team's 35 volunteers all donate their time and vehicles to the charity.
The MOU sets out what each organisation expects when working together and the conditions of deployment. For example; the team would only be expected to deploy when Falkirk Council’s existing resources are at full stretch. The MOU is a significant step forward for Lothian 4x4 Response Team which is not two years old, has worked hard to ensure that it has the skills and knowledge to offer a professional 4x4 transport and logistics service. Falkirk Council assisted the team to achieve 'Train the Trainer' Off-Road 4x4 Driver Training. The Team's volunteers have organised its first '4x4 Familiarisation Driver Training' event. This will see some key staff from Falkirk Council gain experience of 4x4.
Malcolm Wilson, Civil Contingencies Coordinator, Falkirk Council said, 'We are very pleased that this partnership approach between the Council and local volunteers is being taken forward in such a practical and useful manner. Lothian 4x4 Response team provided excellent support during the last bad weather and since then we have worked with them to build their voluntary efforts into not only our emergency planning arrangements but also into the plans agreed across Forth Valley, with our Emergency service partners, the Red Cross and other local volunteers'.
Colin Rodger, Team Leader, Lothian 4x4 Response said, 'This is a big step forward for the team who have been working hard to ensure that the team’s volunteers have all the necessary skills to be able to help in our communities in a safe and efficient manner in times of local need.'
For further information or to attend the 4x4 Familiarisation Training visit Lothian 4x4 Response at www.lothian4x4response.org. click here for Lothian 4x4 Response