Wiltshire fire service cope with hundreds of weather-related emergency calls

The severe weather has meant an extremely busy period for the staff in Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Area manager Julian Parsons said the service started receiving calls at around 11.30am yesterday.

He said: "Mainly these were fallen trees and damaged property. At around 2.30pm we started receiving flooding calls all around our service area.

"By 4.30am on Christmas Eve we had received around 230 calls and were dealing with multiple incidents simultaneously."

The worst affected places were Bradford on Avon, Fovant and the Chippenham area. Crews from Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge and Corsham dealt with flooding in Bath Road, Bradford on Avon. This was due to run off of rain water from adjacent fields and threatened a number of properties.

The attending crews managed to prevent the flooding to all but a couple of the homes. A special High Volume Pump was provided by Avon Fire & Rescue Service to help protect the remaining properties.

Mr Parsons said: "Our crews have worked incredibly hard in really difficult conditions and we have been successful either preventing or mitigating the damage to numerous properties.

"It has also been a challenging night for our Fire Control Operators who have had to prioritise this unusually high demand. They are skilled in identifying the most vulnerable and at risks persons that need our services.

"It means that not everyone can get help from us straight away and we always ask callers to be patient when we have to prioritise other callers."

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