COMMUNITY and voluntary groups have been praised by Bedfordshire Local Resilience Forum following flooding across the county.
Thursday and Friday (4 and 5 January) saw flooding impact properties, roads and rail networks across Bedfordshire, with an emergency response needed across many locations.
The control rooms of 999 services experienced high call volumes particularly on Thursday, and teams of blue light, local councils, and voluntary groups came together to provide flood support to residents in mainly Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough areas of the county.
Whilst there were no new incidents of flooded properties during the weekend (6 and 7 January), the response of voluntary and community flood groups through the BLEVEC partnership continued to support residents and businesses in some of the worst hit areas.
Group Commander Lee Slipanczewski, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s duty officer and chair of the tactical command group from the Bedfordshire Local Resilience Forum that met throughout the incident, praised the response by the community and voluntary teams. He said: “The Central Bedfordshire Community Emergency Response Teams, especially those in Blunham and Shefford, have done so much during the past few days for those in their communities. The community flood groups in Bedford have also played a massive role in helping the forum understand the local risk and support those impacted. Thank you to the hard work and diligence of the community flood groups in Turvey, Harrold, Odell, Clapham, Riseley, Yelden and Carlton.
“We would like to say thank you to BLEVEC as a whole partnership, which included response this time from Beds & Cambs 4X4 Response and Midshires Search and Rescue, which have been incredible in supporting the emergency response. Thank you to everyone who has supported the flood response and please continue to stay safe.”
Not everyone heeded advice to not drive through floodwater and police and fire service still received emergency calls at the weekend for reports of cars that had got stuck in flood water.
River levels continue to remain high at points across Bedfordshire and residents are encouraged to be prepared if they know they are at risk of flooding. For more information on flooding, visit: Check the long term flood risk for an area in England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The Bedfordshire Local Resilience Forum is managed by Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and is made up of partners including emergency response, local authorities, health, highway and environment agencies. It is designed to bring together the main responders during a major emergency for multi-agency cooperation and information sharing.
The Bedfordshire Local Emergency Volunteers Executive Committee (BLEVEC) is the organisation of the volunteer members of the Bedfordshire Local Resilience Forum (BLRF). BLEVEC volunteers are crucial in emergency planning, enabling statutory bodies to understand the preparedness of communities, with close bonds to local communities. BLEVEC utilises people’s willingness to help during a major emergency in a controlled, directed environment across global organisations, local businesses, charities and community teams. To find out more about BLEVEC, visit: Volunteering to help in emergencies | Central Bedfordshire Council