Northamptonshire authorities send 72,000 sandbags to flood victims

editorial image

Specialist water rescue teams and boat crews from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service have been helping the flood relief effort in the south of the country.

On Saturday morning, two specialist water rescue and boat crews travelled to Surrey to support the rescue operation for 48 hours.

Northamptonshire’s high volume pump is currently in Royal Berkshire to assist in the flood management operation.

Chief fire officer in Northamptonshire, Martyn Emberson, said: “Our firefighters are trained to help the community in times of need and are always very willing to respond when the call for help is made, whether in our county or wider afield.

“In times of need all firefighters are able to work together to resolve the situation. The work our firefighters have undertaken so far to support this national flood situation demonstrates how well trained and how versatile our firefighters really are”.

Over the last week the council, working with MGWSP, the British Army, The RAF, Kettering Borough Council, Corby Borough Council, East Northamptonshire District Council, and JDE Excavations, managed to send a total of 72,000 filled sandbags to Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire.

On top of this the council’s fire and rescue service has been supporting other counties over the past few weeks following requests via the Fire and Rescue Service National Co-ordination Centre (FRSNCC).

Specialist water rescue and boat crews plus a 4x4 and unimog truck, were deployed to Chertsey, and the high volume pump was delivered to Oxfordshire then moved to Berkshire to deal with flooding in those areas.

The fire and rescue service is continuing to work with national resilience colleagues to offer additional resources if required.

Councillor Jim Harker (Con, Ise), leader of the county council said: “It was very obvious that some areas of the country were severely struggling to provide enough sandbags.

“With our partners we knew that this was something we could help with and the speed in which everyone got involved with the relief effort was superb.

“We can be very proud of this county for managing to set up and provide such a huge aid-effort for other areas in their moment of need.

The Army and our local partners worked tirelessly together to once again show that Northamptonshire is at its best when working together. Particular mention should be made to the county’s fire and rescue service who really pulled out the stops.

“It was always of critical importance to ensure that in providing this assistance we were also aware of any emerging flood dangers or weather impacts in our own communities and I feel this is a balance which was achieved.”