London Fire Brigade

Capital’s firefighters on flood alert

01 May 2012

The capital’s firefighters are on flood alert after the Met Office issued a ‘yellow alert’ severe weather warning for the capital today.

The Met Office has said that outbreaks of rain will affect the capital today and heavy rain is also expected to hit London on Thursday. London’s firefighters have been called to deal with 12 flooding incidents so far today.

Just this week, fire crews in London were called out to rescue three children from a river in Lewisham in south east London. The Brigade is warning people to stay well away from moving water during and after heavy rain.

Jim Knighton, the Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Operational Procedures, said:

“Streams that look safe can be powerful enough to knock you off your feet following heavy rainfall. Our advice is to stay well away from streams and rivers and to keep a close eye on your children and dogs to make sure they stay away from the water. We’re well equipped to deal with water rescues but we’d far rather people took steps to avoid these dangerous situations in the first place.”

London Fire Brigade has a range of equipment which can be used to help rescue people trapped by flood water, pump water away and protect properties. The Brigade has 16 fire rescue units, 11 of which are equipped with water rescue equipment such as inflatable rescue boats.

The Brigade also has four specialist flood response kits, each of which contains rigid flood rescue boats and paddles and rigid floating pontoons, which can be used to make bridges and walkways to rescue people. They also contain protective drysuits and boots to be worn by fire crews when rescuing people from flooded areas.

The Brigade also has six high volume pumps stationed at strategic locations across the capital. These can be used to pump large amounts of water away from flooded areas. There is also 15 tonnes of sand waiting to be sent out from the Brigade’s distribution centre in Croydon should a serious flooding occur.

The Brigade has issued three top flooding safety tips:

1) Put people before property.  Move your family and pets upstairs if your home floods.
2) Stay well away from moving water like streams and rivers.
3) During a flood, don’t go out unless you have to. Remain calm and call 999 if you are in danger.

ENDS

Notes to editors

More advice on flooding can be found on the Environment Agency’s website.

The Brigade has 16 Fire Rescue Units. The 11 of those that contain water rescue equipment are based at:

1. Battersea
2. Bexley
3. Croydon
4. East Ham
5. Edmonton
6. Euston
7. Heston
8. Hornchurch
9. Lewisham
10. Millwall
11. Wembley

The Brigade’s high volume pumps are based at:

1. Barnet
2. Bethnal Green
3. Hainault
4. New Malden
5. Orpington
6. Ruislip