The fire service says it is better placed to respond to flooding in South Yorkshire, as the tenth anniversary of floods which devastated the county in 2007 is marked.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) formed a major part of the response to floods which hit the region on 25 June 2007 and damaged nearly 1,500 homes in less than 24 hours. Two people also sadly lost their lives.
Emergency services took more than 4,500 calls and the fire service committed all of its available resources to help those in need. Thirty high-volume pumps from across the UK also came to help the relief effort, pumping away thousands of litres of water in badly hit areas, including Bentley and Toll Bar.
Officers say specialist training, regular exercises and new equipment mean it is better placed to an incident on this scale. Nationally, operational guidance for fire services responding to flooding has also been improved.
SYFR now has motorised water rescue boats and fully trained water rescue teams, ready to respond to water related incidents in the county. It also has its own high-volume pump, which is capable of pumping water at a rate of 8,000 litres per minute.
Head of Emergency Response, Area Manager Tony Carlin said: “I’m sure we all remember only too well the devastation caused by the 2007 floods. South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue committed significant resources at the time and our firefighters provided vital support to local communities. Our crews will never forget the community spirit they witnessed in areas that had been devastated by the flood waters.
“We have enhanced our response capabilities to incidents of this nature since then and have also provided support to other parts of the country affected by flooding, including Somerset, Berkshire and Lancashire.
“Flooding remains a significant risk to South Yorkshire, plus other parts of the country, and those living in risk areas should familiarise themselves with information designed to keep them safe in an emergency.”
For more information on a Government backed flood awareness campaign, visit https://floodsdestroy.campaign.gov.uk/