Welcome to the official BCDC website

"Those who call for help are many. It is you they are calling"

(Dr. Marcel Junod: Warrior without Weapons)


What is the British Civil Defence Corps?

The British Civil Defence Corps is a non-government volunteer based civil protection organisation united and dedicated to saving life and alleviating suffering and distress nationally and worldwide, which is supported entirely by donations, subscriptions and equipment donations.

British Civil Defence Corps is primarily an emergency relief organisation serving at the point of greatest need during a major or significant incident or natural disaster. 

BCDC is developing into a respected volunteer organisation with trained personnel providing valued and appreciated support to their local communities and the emergency services.

BCDC launch volunteer training & development foundation course.

What Do We Do?

Our mission is to help communities help themselves in times of local emergencies such as flooding, adverse weather events and disasters, by promoting, developing and maintaining British Civil Defence Corps as a network of local disaster relief and community support teams trained in emergency preparedness and basic disaster response techniques in order to protect and preserve both human and animal life among communities affected by emergencies and disasters, both man-made and natural, in any part of the United Kingdom.  

Under the leadership of a local emergency service coordinator each British Civil Defence Corps region or division produce a divisional emergency plan which relates specifically to the needs of a particular area.

It is our objective that BCDC volunteer teams in conjunction with and under the control of the statutory emergency services and local authority departments, will take an active supporting role to the full-time emergency services (ambulance, police, fire & rescue) in providing critical support to their communities and assisting during times of emergencies such as community evacuations, inclement weather, extreme temperatures, storms, snow, flooding and at any other significant incident.

BCDC volunteers can also assist with flood rescue, flood prevention tasks such as sandbagging,  domestic salvage, the safe use and maintenance of water pump equipment, evacuation of residents from high risk areas, welfare / administration support at emergency rest/ reception centres, signposting to other organisations/services, provide transport and escort assistance, provide reconnaissance of the local community reporting issues such as structural damage, roads blocked by trees, monitoring water level increases, reporting information to the emergency services or local authority emergency planning dept. 

Who Do We Assist?

BCDC Scottish area currently provides flood rescue assistance and 4x4 vehicle support through the North of Scotland Regional Resilience Partnership (NSRRP), Tayside Local Resilience Partnership (TLRP) to Dundee City Council, Angus Council, Perth & Kinross Council and Fife Council Emergency Planning Unit. BCDC Scotland also provides rescue boat and first aid cover at open water swimming events for the Ye Amphibious Ancients Bathing Association on the River Tay and at Loch Earn.

BCDC volunteers undergo flood rescue training to DEFRA guidelines.

Who Funds Our Organisation?

The British Civil Defence Corps receives no government or local authority funding and is supported entirely by donations, subscriptions and bequests. We are supported entirely by donations from the public, product donations and sponsorship from the business community.

BCDC hot fire training with GFRP at Glasgow International Airport

The strength of the British Civil Defence organisation lies in its voluntary ethos and with its members who willingly and freely give their time and expertise to serve their communities.

'Helping Our Communities Help Themselves'





BCDC volunteers providing logistical assistance at a military march


Each British Civil Defence Corps team is made up of a minimum of four members, a Team Leader and three members, to provide an effective span of control and to allow for the use of a “buddy” system during operations.

There is no limit on how large a team can be, however, ‘span of control’ should still apply.  A single community with many members should consider creating multiple teams with specific responsibilities or assigned areas.  

BCDC teams are neighbourhood based serving a specific geographic area that is identified by the team. Individuals who complete the BCDC foundation course may volunteer to join an existing team in their community or where appropriate establish their own team by recruiting others who must also complete training. Volunteers must always act in accordance with their training and observe all safety standards as taught in BCDC courses.

Volunteer Stewart Burns (L) completes the BCDC Foundation course.


The British Civil Defence Corps training program provides a structured training scheme through competency based training. This system has the advantage of flexibility and the ability to recognise provable existing knowledge.

Casualty Care & Emergency Life Support training.

To gain anything from a structured organisation or training scheme, regular commitment is important and BCDC volunteers are required to attend fortnightly evening training sessions and participate in a full day session monthly.

Citizen Aid App
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GoodSam Community Lifesavers
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Flood Warnings in England & Wales
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Flood Warnings in Scotland
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National Weather Warnings
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Public Health England
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Public Health Scotland
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Terrorist Incident Stay Safe
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Flood prevention assistance

Images & Content © Copyright 2012 - 2018, British Civil Defence Corps, All rights reserved.

"Helping Communities Help Themselves" 

Commercial reproduction, distribution or transmission of any part of this website or any information contained therein by any means whatsoever without the prior written permission of the National Director of the British Civil Defence Corps is not permitted.

The National Committee of the British Civil Defence Corps would like it to be recorded that BCDC is a non governmental organisation (NGO) and are in no way affiliated, associated or attached to any political party, group or movement in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in the world. We are a non political humanitarian volunteer organisation.

The International Civil Defence badge is worn by members of the British Civil Defence Corps, to show they are part of a worldwide network of committed people, prepared to serve in their own country or overseas as part of a practical response to disaster relief.

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