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Busy weekend for Berkshire Fire and Rescue

Berkshire Fire and Rescue helping flood victims Photo: PA

FLOODING UPDATE form Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service

With 16 fire and rescue services working in Berkshire to assist RoyalBerkshire Fire and Rescue Service, water rescue crews and firefighters remain very busy, particularly in the east Berkshire area. They are carrying out rescues, assisting with salvage operations, flood defence construction and movement of household items for those people unable or unwilling to leave their homes, and providing advice and reassurance.

On Friday, crews working in Wraysbury checked on a woman in a flooded house. When asked if she was alright, she told them that she needed milk for her baby, so the crews went to buy some and then delivered it to her.

Crews in Loddon Drive, Twyford, were contacted regarding an elderly couple needing a prescription filled. A water rescue boat went to their house, collected the prescription, took it to a Land Rover crew, who drove to a pharmacy and collected the prescription items. They then drove back to the waiting boat, handed it over and the boat delivered it to the couple. The same boat crew were flagged down by another elderly couple who told them they’d not had fresh drinking water for two weeks! The Land Rover was despatched to Maidenhead fire station where it picked up two cases of the drinking water stocked there for crews and took it back to the boat for delivery to the couple. Crews will now be checking on both couples on a daily basis from now on to ensure that they are alright.

Firefighters have been working with the Army to assist with sandbagging in several locations, including Bourne End. They have also worked with the local authority to provide sandbags to the Swan Sanctuary in Eton to protect equipment there.

On Thursday, training was provided to military personnel on hazard awareness when working or moving through flood water. Subsequent requests were received from local residents who also wanted to take part in this an a session was held yesterday (Saturday) in Datchet Village Hall.

Although the flooding is still currently predominantly in the east of the county, crews were also busy in the west, carrying out similar activities and providing help, advice and reassurance to residents. Royal Berkshire Fire Authority Chairman, Cllr Colin Dudley and Cllr Phillip Bicknell have today been visiting crews in the Wraysbury area, while Cllr Emma Webster has been working in the Operational Support Room (OSR).

Seven High Volume Pumps (HVPs) are currently pumping out water in various locations around the county, six of which are in the east.

Members of the National Resilience Assurance team have also been working in the OSR today to assist with the coordination and deployment of national assets in line with the National Coordination and Advisory Framework.

Four water rescue crews were deployed to Purley, Woodley (Loddon BridgeRoad/Colemansmoor Road area), Sonning and Southcote (Circuit Lane area). They are conducting welfare checks on local residents and offering assistance wherever it is needed.

Prevention (community safety) staff are working from the RBFRS outreach vehicles in Datchet and Wraysbury as a contact and advice point for concerned local residents, as part of themulti-agency community support programme. A new carbon monoxide awareness leaflet has been produced to warn people about the potential dangers of using appliances which are not designed to be used inside the home (e.g.LPG/gas cylinders, camping stoves and lights, portable pumps etc) to cook,heat, or to dry out or pump water from properties.

RBFRS Chief Fire Officer Andy Fry joined Army personnel for a ministerial visit from the Rt Hon Mark Francois MP, Minister of State for theArmed Forces, highlighting the partnership work we are doing in the Burghfield area.

RBFRS remains on high alert and is continually monitoring and reviewing the situation across Berkshire, working closely with partner organisations including the police, ambulance service, military, local authorities and Environment Agency.

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