Fire Services' deploy High Volume Pumps to assist at Major Incident in Derbyshire

 Firefighters are pumping tonnes of water from a reservoir in Derbyshire following significant rainfall resulting in it overflowing.

At least ten High Volume Pumps (HVP) and a number of firefighters from across the country have already been deployed to assist as part of the National Fire Chiefs Council's (NFCC) National Resilience (NR) response. In addition, a number of specialised members of staff including tactical advisers are at the scene. More assets could be deployed as the situation unfolds.

This has now been declared a major incident and it is anticipated that this incident will last between two to three days. 

Levels in Derbyshire's River Goyt could rise rapidly due to water coming from the nearby Toddbrook reservoir, which contains 1.3million tonnes of water and the dam holding it back contains 300 million gallons of water. There are concerns the reservoir walls could collapse, flooding nearby homes. A wall around Toddbrook Reservoir is already showing extensive damage.

More than 6,000 people are in the process of being evacuated from the Whaley Bridge area, following the Environment Agency issuing a 'danger to life' warning. 

The HVPs will pump water from the reservoir to other locations to reduce the pressure on the reservoir and the river, while helping to reduce the impact on the local community. HVPs have the capacity to move up to 7,000 litres of water per minute, helping to alleviate the pressure.

The National Response is part of fire and rescue services coordinated response to large-scale incidents such as flooding. This can include the deployment of fire appliances, specialised teams, High Volume Pumps, Enhanced Logistics Support Teams, wading teams, swift water rescue teams, powered rescue boats, tactical advisers, and standard fire pumps.

It is coordinated by the NFCC's National Resilience arrangements, allowing teams to be quickly mobilised to assist with deploying the most effective equipment, rescue teams and expertise.

The response is likely to continue over the weekend. National Resilience will work closely with the Environment Agency and the Met Office to monitor and evaluate conditions as they change, and respond accordingly.

Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, said: "Fire and Rescue Services from across the country mobilise quickly to situations such as this and play a key role in leading the response. Our ability to mobilise our assets in this way is an essential part of our national resilience response.

"A coordinated and joined-up approach is essential to ensure we can help keep the public safe - with the right equipment and people in place - while working closely with others to ensure a world-class response is put in place. Once again this demonstrates why we must be resourced to risk as well as to demand, in recent months the UK fire and rescue service has put national resilience response in place for widespread flooding and large wildfires.

  • The National Resilience Assurance Team (NRAT), supported by lead NFCC officers, coordinates the national response, provides vital support to government and supports fire and rescue services with additional assets.
  • NR also provides invaluable support in response to these nationally significant incidents, working to the National Coordination and Advisory Framework (NCAF), to ensure a flexible response is put in place.
  • Highly experienced fire and rescue service strategic and tactical advisers support affected areas, which has been consistently demonstrated since the Cumbria floods in 2005.
  • Fire and Rescue Services also coordinate a national response to wide area flooding on behalf of DEFRA through a well-established and highly effective National Coordination and Advisory Framework (NCAF).
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