The Fire and Rescue Services’ duty is primarily to fight fires and save life, however where necessary we will assist with evacuation operations and the mitigation of flood water damage during widespread flooding events.
Please bear in mind that the Fire and Rescue Service does not possess equipment that will pump out shallow water and if your property is surrounded by water, there may not be anywhere to pump this water to.
In the last five years West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) has been called to 149 instances of flooding within the Calderdale district – 74 of which were during 2012.
Whilst the fire service recognises the financial and practical difficulties flooding can bring, our role as an emergency service is the protection of life and we should not always be the first point of call in such instances.
In the event that our control room receives a 999 call regarding flooding, a fire service officer will attend the scene to assess the problem and whether life is at risk – this visit is not charged.
We always take into consideration whether occupiers are vulnerable and give advice on how to proceed – much of this can be found in our leaflet "After the Flood
In a non-emergency situation the use of WYFRS pumping equipment may incur a charge as a Special Service Call.
The fire service works alongside partners at Calderdale Council, who put measures in place in the event of a flood warning, and also the Police and Highways Agency.
Station Commander for Todmorden and Illingworth fire stations, Dom Furby, said: “The Calder Valley is renowned for flooding and the key for anyone who lives on a flood plain is pre-planning. If there‟s a potential risk of flooding, move valuables to a higher level and turn ground floor electricity off."
“Be aware that the flooding will stop and will drain away. If there's no life risk don‟t automatically pick the phone up to call the fire service because we have to bear in mind there could be other emergencies going on which require our attendance more urgently."
“We will prioritise vulnerable people however and wherever there is a life risk we will attend.”