Busy Weekend for Fire Crews as Storm Dennis hits Shropshire

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service experienced one of its busiest weekends as heavy rain brought flooding to several areas of the County seeing over 300 emergency calls being received in 24 hours.

The sheer volume and variety of incidents the fire crews dealt with reflects the broad range of skills they can deploy to help protect the people of Shropshire and beyond. Boat crews performed water rescues, whilst other crews attended flooded properties and assisted in flood-water pumping. The Service also responded to numerous incidents in which cars had been driven into flood water and the occupants required rescuing. They worked closely with partner agencies including the Environment Agency, West Mercia Police, West Midlands Ambulance and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service to deliver a co-ordinated rescue and relief response.

Reflecting on the weekend, Chief Fire Officer Rod Hammerton said “Storm Dennis tested both our communities and our emergency responders. I would like to give particular thanks to our On-call Firefighters, who have worked tirelessly to protect their communities all weekend – knowing they had to get back to their day jobs today.

Thanks also to our control room team who have looked after over 300 incidents; giving safety advice and making sure the right fire engines get to the right places at the right time.”

Although the level of the River Teme has lowered, severe flood warnings will remain in place. Flood defences have been deployed in Shrewsbury, and the River Severn is expected to peak at the Welsh Bridge today and recede over the next few days. Levels in Bridgnorth will reach their highest tomorrow, and the Environment Agency are continuing to closely monitor the situation around the County.

The worst of the storm may have passed, but it is essential that people follow road closure signs for their own safety and listen to any directives to leave their residence if required by emergency services.

Group Manager Jon Temple added "If you are in a flooded area, relocate to somewhere else if possible and secure your property. Avoid driving through flood waters. It only takes six inches of water to lift and move a car and we are seeing this happen already. Do not risk it.”

It’s important to plan any journeys in advance to ensure the safest route. For further information about the current flood level, the future weather forecast and who to get in touch with if you have been affected please visit Shropshire Council’s Live Flooding Information page or the Government’s Flood information service.

Many of the personnel who assisted throughout the weekend are on-call firefighters. Ordinary people with an extraordinary job. On-call staff are a crucial part of the Fire Service and play an essential role in keeping our communities safe. They are all ages and come from all walks of life. If you are interested in joining our on-call crews or want to know more click here for details.

17th February, 2020