Firefighters from Banbury headed up to Cumbria today (Tuesday) as part of a team from Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service to help flood relief work in northern England.
The team of six firefighters together with station manager Mark Ames will head north to deploy the pump and could possibly remain there until at least New Year’s Day. They will also be taking with them a High Volume Pumping Unit, which is based at Banbury and is a specialist piece of equipment designed to disperse large amounts of water.
If they were scheduled to work over this period at Banbury station, their places will be filled by other firefighters called in to cover their absence.
John Lloyd, area manager, said: “We have all seen the images of the terrible devastation the flooding has cause in parts of the north of England, particularly in Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire.
“Our High Volume Pumping (HVP) Unit based at Banbury will deploy to Cumbria at 11am today (Tuesday) with a crew of six fully trained firefighters and one officer, station manager Mark Ames.”
“It is expected that they will attend a briefing this evening and then be deployed as required within the region, to assist with the ongoing situation there and the potential poor weather expected tomorrow (Wednesday).
“Until they have been briefed, we are unsure of their exact role or how long they will be required, so it may be necessary to rotate crews / Officers but it is possible that they will be required over the New Year period at least.
“Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service will still maintain the capability to deal with any flooding should it occur locally, despite this deployment.
“We are only too happy to join with other specialist teams from around the country help out with the flood relief effort and play our part in protecting people and their property and then helping to try to restore some normality to the communities who have been hit so hard, some of them several times in a few weeks.
“Our crews have trained for situations like this and will now have the opportunity to use these skills for the benefit of the community.”