The chief fire and rescue adviser for the Government has dismissed claims that cuts in funding have hampered the efforts of those dealing with the flooding crisis.
Peter Holland said the claims are "completely unfounded" and added:
Over 1,000 fully equipped firefighters from right across the country are doing an incredible job working in shifts to reduce water levels and help communities deal with the flooding giving support wherever and whenever it is needed.
The crews who have been drafted in from around the country are specially trained professionals who have the very best equipment for dealing with the floods including high volume pumps, rescue boats, 4x4 fire vehicles and dry suits.
While fire and rescue services are busy dealing with the floods, there still are plenty of fire engines in local areas to respond to non-flood emergencies."
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