Flood fire crews praised

09:56 27 November 2012

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Fire crews across Devon and Somerset have been praised for their work dealing with wide-spread flooding following last week’s torrential rain

Chief Fire Officer Lee Howell, of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, has praised operational crews and fire control staff for their response to the exceptional adverse weather conditions.

Early figures have revealed that in the five days from November 21-25, crews were called to deal with 869 flooding incidents out of a total of 1,357 incidents. Crews carried out 85 rescues from flooding over that period, from properties and vehicles, involving 218 people.

Chief Fire Officer Howell said: “Our fire control staff and operational crews have worked extremely hard over the last five days and are a credit to the service. We have also received excellent support from our colleagues in other fire and rescue services, the police, partner agencies, and people from the communities involved.”

Cllr Mark Healey, chairman of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “Everyone without exception that I have spoken to, has had nothing but praise and admiration for the crews and the control staff of the service, for the professional and compassionate way that they conducted themselves.”

The fire service said planning will continue to take place in support of the recovery operation and further rain falling on extremely saturated ground could lead to further flooding incidents.

National resilience high volume pumps continue to operate at the Great Union Canal and crews are still attending to people trapped in vehicles stuck in floodwater.

CFO Howell added: “The rain may have eased in most areas but there is still the potential for roads to be flooded, particularly in rural areas.

“Please do not drive through floodwater and be aware of debris that may have been left behind on roads by flooding.”

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