Crew Stretched As Region Battered by Storm Desmond

CREW from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service responded to incidents across the county and beyond as Storm Desmond battered the North West with high winds and driving rain.

Incidents which received a 999 response within Greater Manchester included removing three flagpoles from The Palace Hotel in the city centre and retrieving the ‘O’ from the Tesco sign which was dangling precariously from the Altrincham store.

Householders concerned about trees, loose roofs and fascia board which had gone flying in the wind were all among those who turned to the emergency service for help.

Crew from GMFRS also mobilised north to Cumbria where the county took the brunt of Storm Desmond with bridge collapses, river flooding and raging torrents of water ripping through people’s homes.

And, in amidst the weather chaos, GMFRS also dealt with two large six-pump fires and rescued two very elderly people from fires in their homes.

Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Councillor David Acton said: “It has been an extremely busy weekend for our crew and indeed everyone in the Fire and Rescue Service in the North West.

“Cumbria has been extremely badly hit and not surprisingly needed help. We mobilised one of our water incident units and also our high volume pumping appliance which helps to pump our flood water quicker. Crew travelled to the region in challenging conditions and I would like to thank them for that. The Environment Agency increased the whole region to ‘red alert’ which is very rare but appropriate when you consider the threat to local people this weekend.

“In Manchester we suffered less from the weather but were still busy with calls from local people concerned about wind damage and rain being a risk to themselves and the public generally. We have also had two big fires requiring six fire engines each and rescued two very elderly people from fires in their homes. This shows the value of the Fire and Rescue Service and the sheer variety of incidents we respond to, reassuring people right across Greater Manchester. I’m proud of our response and would pass my thanks to all our crew.”

Over the weekend GMFRS attended the following weather related incidents within the county:

  • The partial collapse of a gable end of a property in Highfield Road, Prestwich
  • A sheet of felt flat roofing about 4m x 4m balancing precariously in Grasmere Road, Royton
  • A scaffolding board and unsafe scaffolding hanging over a footpath in Halifax Road, Rochdale
  • Wooden gates swinging wildly close to some allotments and dangerous to pedestrians in Kirkway, Middleton
  • Fascia board dangling over a footpath in Shaw Heath Cale Green, Stockport
  • The ‘O’ of the Tesco sign dangling 50 feet up from the roof of the store in Manor Road, Altrincham
  • Three flagpoles dangling dangerously were removed with a Dewalt saw from The Palace Hotel, Manchester
  • A car stuck in 3 feet of water was pushed to safety with the driver inside in Ferngrove, Bury

In addition, the Service responded to a large fire in a commercial laundry in Plantation Industrial Estate, Ashton-under-Lyne, and the job centre in Wavell Road, Wythenshawe. A 76-year-old man was rescued from his home in Romiley, Stockport, following a chip pan fire and an 83-year-old woman was rescued from her bedroom, which was on fire.

Cllr Acton added: “It has been a very busy weekend for us. Both the elderly people seem to be doing OK and recovering, which is great news. Some of these incidents might seem minor but represented serious risks to local people and their properties and indeed to public safety. I am proud of GMFRS and all the firefighters who look after the people of Greater Manchester each and every day.”

19/12/2018 13:48 PM