46: Callout 5/6th December 2015
Cumbria Flood Response
As Cumbria and surrounding regions experienced some of their worst rainfall in history, the teams from the Lake District Search & Mountain Rescue Association were all operational along with other voluntary organisations and statutory services. Following the declaration of a Major Incident, neighbouring mountain rescue regions were asked to provide possible numbers of specialist water trained members that would be prepared to deploy to assist the on-going efforts. On receipt of the request, the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation alerted its water members. Kinder MRT had two Swift Water Rescue Technicians able to respond and preparations were made to enable their deployment up North. Just after 16:30hrs the team mobilised to Cumbria, heading for Penrith. Along with Kinder team, members from Woodhead MRT, Glossop MRT, Derby MRT and Edale MRT were also sent. Mean while members from Buxton MRT and Oldham MRT remained and offered to provide cover if necessary in other teams operational areas – a true regional response to the situation. Arriving just before 19:00hrs, the teams joined a significant multi-agency response to the flooding incident. Having prepared their equipment, it wasn’t long before their first tasking arrived and we joined Penrith MRT and went to Appleby where the main road was a swiftly flowing river. Once back at Penrith the teams from the Peak District were deployed to Carlisle and joined forces with Calder Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team and North East Wales SRT with one of Edale’s Tactical Advisors heading up the response effort. Throughout the next 20 hours, the members were involved in a large number of taskings, varying between assisting NW Ambulance Service access isolated properties, rescuing members of the public and carrying out welfare checks on residents of Carlisle. The team utilised Edale MRT’s inflatable sled and a boat provided by Calder Valley SRT to evacuate those worst effected, reporting back areas that required a powered craft to access due to severity of water flow and depth. Team members eventually arrived back at our base in Hayfield at approx 16:45hrs on the 6th, after a eventful and memorable 24hrs for so many reasons.