Two ‘angels from the sky’ have been putting their own time and resources into helping people in crisis in Uckfield and beyond.
The duo, Sam Imber, aged 25 from Uckfield, and Dave Jones, 24, from Newick, are volunteers with Sussex 4 x 4 Response which provides 4 x 4 vehicle assistance to emergency services and local authorities in adverse weather conditions.
But they also respond to calls for help from friends and stop to help others when they see a need.
In the last few weeks they have helped bail out flooded homes in Ridgewood, flooded shops in Edenbridge and pulled fallen trees off roads at night – or, if that’s not been possible they have marked the hazard by turning on the warning lights on the top of their vehicle.
Sam and Paul were part of a Sussex 4 x 4 team which ferried medical supplies to a collection point ready for despatch to the Phillipines after Typhoon Haiyan.
They were also members of a response team that helped evacuate a flooded caravan park in Kent.
When they spotted shopkeepers bucketing water from shops in Edenbridge they stopped to help and last week they helped friends in Baxendale Way, Ridgewood, when water started coming in through the back door and air bricks into two houses, and flowing through garages to the front of the house.
Sandbags were desperately needed and when Sam and Dave asked Parker Building Supplies whether they could help they were given 30 ready for use. Staff turned out and filled empty bags with sand within ten minutes of the call.
Chichester Caravans support their efforts too by providing leisure power boxes which power a computer and radio on-board their 4 x 4 and the high-power lighting on top of the vehicle.
The pair have invested in their own diesel-powered water pumps to help clear flood waters from homes – one is being used in Kent at the moment by a fellow Sussex 4 x 4 Response member and they keep the other one locally in case it is needed.
They carry their own chain saws, tow ropes, and a full First Aid kit – both are trained First Aiders.
When they help others they ask for nothing in return. “Oh no, there is no charge,” said Sam. “We just like to help others. This is us putting something back into the community and we enjoy it. We have been described as being like ‘angels from the sky’. We couldn’t leave anybody who needed help.”