Firefighters are being affected by suspected waterborne infections and sickness as a result of their work to deal with the flood crisis, a union has claimed.
The Fire Brigade Union said cuts in funding have led to staff shortages, poor equipment and inadequate training.
Examples of equipment shortages and issues reported by firefighters include:
- Large numbers of firefighters attending floods in protective equipment designed for dealing with fires, rather than water
- A shortage of specialist fire service vehicles capable of driving through high levels of water
- The deployment of ageing or deteriorating boats
- A lack of sufficient dry suits, meaning replacement crews had no immediate access to this equipment, restricting their ability to respond
- Widespread problems relating to health and welfare, with firefighters being affected by suspected waterborne infections and sickness
More top news
The PM confirmed an end to the country's existing trading arrangements as she outlined her 12 priorities for negotiating Britain's EU exit.
Theresa May has pledged to invoke Article 50 by the end of March, beginning the Brexit process. Here is an A to Z of what you need to know.
A judge said those bringing the case can remain anonymous after they said they feared for their safety if their identities were revealed.