South Yorkshire: Aston firefighters sent to help in Somerset floods

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South Yorkshire firefighters have taken their most powerful piece of pumping equipment to assist emergency services battling the flooding in Somerset.

Six firefighters travelled down to Taunton over the weekend, taking with them a High Volume Pump (HVP). HVPs are capable of moving huge volumes of water, and South Yorkshire’s is capable of pumping 8,000 litres of water a minute.

South Yorkshire’s firefighters, most of whom are normally based at Aston Park fire station, will work in eight hour shifts for a minimum of seven days, with much of the Somerset Levels still under water and further heavy rain forecast in the coming days.

Station manager Shayne Tottie, who is leading the team, said: “We are looking forward to providing important practical and strategic support to our colleagues in Devon and Somerset.”

“The High Volume Pump is an extremely powerful piece of kit and is ideally suited to helping to deal with the quantities of water we are talking about in Somerset right now.”

“We are awaiting our next tactical briefing on where we will be utilised first, but firefighters are like one big family, and needless to say we will be happy to assist wherever we are needed.”

Senior officers agreed to make their resources available after ensuring they were satisfied with the fire and rescue provision which remains available for local people in South Yorkshire. The fire service’s tradition of sharing national assets benefited communities in Doncaster in 2007, when more than 30 HVPs from all over the country helped to pump out flooded areas around Bentley and Toll Bar.