Major Incident Project

Can you keep calm in a crisis? Can you think straight in an emergency?

If the answer to these questions is ‘YES’ then becoming a Major Incident Volunteer might be right for you.

Volunteer Centre Salford in conjunction with Salford City Council are creating a register of volunteers for their Major Incident Volunteering programme. In the unfortunate event of a major incident or emergency affecting residents of Salford these volunteers will offer help and support at one of the Rest / Survivor Reception Centres set up to by the Council.

For more information on how to register or to request an application pack please contact Claire Roberts. Download the registration form at the bottom of this page.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Can I be a Major Incident Volunteer?

Yes, anyone willing to assist in the response to an emergency or major incident can apply.

2. What skills or qualifications do I need?

You don’t need to have any particular skills or qualifications to register for this role. A willingness to help to support people who have been affected by an emergency or major incident is the most important quality you can have.

However, there are particular skills that would be useful for this role, a few of these are listed below:

  • Administration skills
  • Care of older people
  • Catering
  • Childcare
  • Communication skills
  • Computer / IT skills
  • Counselling
  • Crisis experience
  • Customer care
  • Disability awareness
  • Domestic skills
  • Driving
  • First Aid
  • Health & Safety
  • Hospital work
  • Languages
  • Lifting/handling
  • Parenting skills
  • Sign language

3. Will I get paid for being a ‘Major Incident’ Volunteer?

Volunteers do not receive payment, but can claim ‘reasonable’ out of pocket expenses for bus fares/mileage etc. Every endeavour will be made to provide necessary refreshments and provisions for volunteers during their volunteering. The procedure for claiming expenses and receiving provisions etc will be explained at induction training.

4. If I don’t drive can I still be a Major Incident volunteer?

Yes, having a car isn’t a necessity, as long as you are prepared to travel to where the incident occurs.

5. Will I be insured?

Yes, anyone who volunteers to assist in a major incident is insured under the usual Salford City Council arrangements.

6. Do I need a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check?

No. Some Major Incident volunteers will already be DBS checked as part of their ‘regular’ volunteering duties. It is useful for us to know if you are DBS checked and you should indicate this at the appropriate section of the registration form.

7. I may not be able to respond straightaway due to other commitments, can i still be a Major Incident volunteer?

Yes, an immediate response may not always be required and if you are unable to respond immediately you might be able to help later. Please tell the Emergency Co-ordinator when you get the initial call when you expect to be available. This will allow them to make plans in case staffing changes are required.

8. What is the level of commitment expected in terms of my time to be a Major Incident Volunteer?

It is impossible to predict how much time will be involved in responding to emergencies or major incidents. Your commitment will depend on the nature of the incident and your availability and willingness to respond.

9. How will I know that I am needed to respond?

You will be contacted by telephone (on the number provided by you) and informed that an incident has occurred and that volunteers are needed to help operate a reception/rest centre or emergency control centre. Please note that you may be contacted from 8:30am up until 6:00pm (working hours) and will only be contacted during these times.

You will also be informed of the location of the reception/rest centre or emergency control centre that you are required at. Maps of the location of the designated centres will be provided.

10. What is a ‘Rest Centre’?

A Rest Centre is a building designated or taken over by the local authority for the temporary accommodation of evacuees and homeless survivors, with overnight facilities. The responsibility for organising, staffing and providing logistical support for (reception) Centres sits with the local authority. However, the local authority relies on the valued contributions of volunteers and other services to provide effective assistance.

11. What is a ‘Survivor Reception Centre’?

The Survivor Reception Centre is a secure area where uninjured survivors can be taken for short term shelter and first aid. Information will usually be gathered by police documentation teams and interviews undertaken where necessary. It may be established and run initially by the emergency services.

12. What is a ‘Family and Friends Reception Centre’?

The police, in conjunction with the local authority, will establish Family and Friends Reception Centres at suitable locations, to help reunite family and friends with survivors. Family and Friends Reception Centres will be staffed by police, local authority staff and suitably trained volunteers.

13. How do I apply to become a Major Incident volunteer?

For an application form, an informal discussion or general enquiry, please contact Volunteer Centre Salford:
Tel: 061 787 7795 Email:

You can also download a registration form here.

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Salford CVS & Volunteer Centre
Registered address 
The Old Town Hall 
5 Irwell Place 
Salford, M30 0FN

Tel: 0161 787 7795 


Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

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