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Saturday, 19 December 2020 17:46

Flood Relief - S. Devon and Cornwall

Written by

Callout 48/2020 - Various locations 23:00 18th December 2020

The water team have been placed on alert and are on standby at our rescue centre awaiting deployment to assist with flood relief if required.

A Dartmoor Search & Rescue team leader was seconded to the silver command structure at Devon & Cornwall Police headquarters, and a team comprising of 7 swift water rescue technicians, 2 vehicles, rescue raft and drivers were assembled at the team base.
The team were on standby for four hours & at approximately 23:00hrs were tasked to check a known flood risk location near to Newton Abbot. The team then travelled back to the rescue centre, via Totnes and Dartington. No immediate risk of flooding was observed en route, but there was a very large amount of surface water on all of the roads.
On our return we were tasked to a potential flood in Harbertonford and whilst en route we were diverted to a large scale search and rescue operation, involving multiple people at a caravan park at Notter Bridge, Saltash where the river Lynher had over topped its' banks and flooded a large area of the park and a number of residents were in need of evacuation from their homes.
We worked alongside colleagues from DSRT Plymouth, DSRT Tavistock, Cornwall search and rescue team, Exmoor search and rescue team and various fire and rescue, coastguard and police services to evacuate and secure people at risk.
This was a large scale multi agency operation being managed by the Cornwall Fire Service.
We were initially tasked to use our raft to transport two residents and we were then tasked to perform welfare checks on residents who had not been evacuated. We were stood down at 04:30 having reported successful completion of tasks to the Fire Service Incident Site Manager.
It was a long night with rapidly changing priorities and information .
The team were active from 1900 and finally got back to base at around about 0430 making it a very long night after a full day of work and family commitments.
DSRT Ashburton team leader Keith Lambeth said “This type of flood Multi agency tasking is something we are gaining more and more experience of. With common levels of training and equipment across the agencies meant that we could interact with greater efficiency and safety to ensure the safety of the people we seek to help. I’m always proud to be part of this team, but never more than at times like this when team members contribute so much to support the community to the South West”.
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