Overnight on Tuesday 5th December 2023 we were requested by Wiltshire Search and Rescue to support Avon and Somerset Police to send water resources to Somerset. Two flood teams were rapidly formed consisting of Lowland Rescue volunteers from Wiltshire, Dorset Search and Rescue and Hampshire, and sent to a holding area at #yeovil police station. Here we joined up with Mountain Rescue colleagues from Exmoor Search & Rescue Team who had also been tasked.
On arrival, we were briefed about an emerging issue at a caravan park, with flood water up to 5’ deep in places, and the welfare of around 100 residents was unknown. Some of the caravans were flooded, and others had lost electricity or water supplies.
The 5 teams deployed and worked alongside the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to locate, assess, and where required extricate the mainly elderly residents and pets in boats. Once back on dry land they were checked over by paramedics at a casualty collection point and then taken to a place of safety.
We train to the same flood rescue standards as all the emergency services in the UK. The importance of this was massively apparent last night; despite having never previously met the vast majority of those involved before, we were able to work together seamlessly, confidently and efficiently.