The Salvation Army has been supporting flood relief efforts in the North West of England.
The Salvation Army's Emergency Services was in action until the early hours of this morning (Saturday 23 June) to support control room staff at Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters in Fulwood, near Preston.
As heavy rainfall burst river banks and caused massive flooding all across the north of England, control room staff were inundated with more calls than they could cope with. Fire authorities drafted in relief staff to cope with the demand, which peaked at close to 10 calls per minute.
“The control room staff on duty were not able to stop, even to make a drink," says Major Nigel Tansley, who co-ordinates The Salvation Army's Emergency Services work across the North West. “We were called in at around 10pm last night and provided hot drinks and light refreshments to sustain the staff while they took the calls up until around 2am.”
This support was provided by team members David Yates and Roy Cain, members of Blackburn Citadel Salvation Army church, who used the stocks of food that have long been maintained at the Headquarters for such an unusual call-out.
"We think that this is the first time we have received a request like this to support control room staff," said Major Tansley, who had made provision for such an emergency some five years ago. “We are glad that we were able to meet the needs presented. We have a team on standby and are ready to be called out again if required.”
More torrential rain has been forecast by the Meteorological Office to fall across the north again tonight and tomorrow.