As floods caused by Storm Desmond hit parts of the UK, fire and rescue services are deploying staff to assist, with CFOA’s National Resilience arrangements helping to coordinate the response.
Flood alerts are in place across the UK and it is likely the bad weather will continue into next week. The Met Office and Environment Agency websites have details on the areas effected, as well as tips on what to do if you are in a place at risk.
Severe warnings are in place in the North West and North East of England as well as in Wales, with particular concentration in Cumbria. Dozens more flood alerts and warnings are in place in Scotland – two at the “severe” level in Newcastleton and Hawick in the Scottish borders.
The government is holding a COBRA meeting in response to floods, with a focus on Cumbria.
A number of national resilience assets have been deployed to assist, including High Volume Pumps, each capable of moving 7,000 litres of water per minute.
60,000 homes in and around Cumbria and Lancashire are without power following the flooding of an electrical sub-station with another 60,000 at risk.
Fire and Rescue Services across the UK are already working together to deliver a co-ordinated response to the widespread flooding with high volume pumps and other specialist equipment being mobilised alongside personnel trained to deal with the flooding caused by the severe weather.
West Midlands Fire Service and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Merseyside Fire and Rescue are just some of the many services from across the country assisting local fire services as they tackle floodwaters and undertake rescues.
CFOA believes the way forward in delivering an efficient, resilient and cost effective national response to major flooding events should be based on a clear statement of duties, with Fire and Rescue Services playing a leading role.
We also believe it is critical that the government continues to properly and fully fund National Resilience Assets to ensure they are always available to emergencies such as this, CFOA’s coordination role is vital to this.