Team called in to help at Somerset floods

Fri 31 Jan, 2014

The Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service crew is pictured in Aylesbury Fire Station's Unimog, checking the safety of a road in Muchelney, where residents have been isolated for five weeks. Firefighters have been providing transport for local people in the mornings and evenings, and providing emergency cover and support to the ambulance service's Hazardous Area Response Team.

A team from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has taken one of brigade’s three Unimog four-wheel drive fire engines to help the flood relief operation in Somerset.

The move is part of a mutual assistance agreement that exists among fire and rescue services across the country.

The team, which arrived on Thursday (30 January) evening, initially comprised five firefighters from Aylesbury and an officer from High Wycombe. It was expected to stay in Somerset until Monday 3 February.

The agreement has now been extended to Saturday 8 February, with firefighters from Milton Keynes, Stokenchurch and High Wycombe among those taking the places of the original crew members.

*Update* 11 February: The period has been extended to Tuesday 18 February following a request from Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service.

Group Manager Roger Brinklow, Service Delivery Manager for Aylesbury Vale, said: "As everyone is aware, following extreme weather conditions over the past months, areas of the Somerset Levels have been severely affected by the heavy rainfall.

"This has led to local residents experiencing extreme difficulty in moving around the area, with many properties still uninhabitable due to the level of the water.

"In response to a request from the Fire and Rescue Service National Coordination Centre, Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority has provided a 4X4 pumping appliance, with a crew of five personnel and a liaison officer, for deployment within the affected area."