Storm Bella sparks more than 600 firefighter call-outs over Christmas
- Credit: Twitter/@cambsfrs
Firefighters working over the Christmas break responded to more than 600 call-outs as a result of Storm Bella hitting the region.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s area commander Chris Parker has praised his colleagues for their work during the “very challenging operation”.
Crews were called to flooded homes to build defences, road traffic collisions and rescue missions to save trapped motorists, to name just a handful of incidents.
Mr Parker said: “While many residents were enjoying the festive period, our crews, officers and emergency call handlers were hard at work helping those impacted by the flooding seen across the county.
“Working with our partners from the Environment Agency, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and local authorities, crews were out pumping water out of properties, assisting with travel to rest centres and helping build flood defences.
“Crews also assisted people trapped in their vehicles after attempting to travel through flooded roads.
“This was a very challenging operation for everyone involved, from the dynamic flash flooding phase to the preparation for the arrival of Storm Bella.
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“The coordination group declared it a major incident due to the response needed.
“Our Combined Fire Control dealt with more than 600 incidents in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk between the first call on Wednesday afternoon and Christmas Day morning, while also moving crews around the county to maintain cover for other emergencies.
“The partners remained in contact regularly over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day to co-ordinate the activities to help keep residents as safe as possible.
“Luckily the weather did not hit Cambridgeshire as badly as other parts of the region.
“Although we plan for incidents like this, it always brings challenges, especially during the early dynamic phases.
“Residents can help with this by following some simple steps, such as checking for weather warnings, having sand bags to hand (even home made ones using sand from any home maintenance shop) and never driving through a flood water on a road.
“More information about being prepared is available on our website.
“As an emergency service we are always prepared to respond, even at Christmas.
“Our staff worked incredibly hard from the first call, day and night, to help those in need. I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work, including those from our partner agencies.”