Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Fire Service, Council and Community come together to prevent flooding

A partnership involving Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, Essex County Council and local authorities helps to prevent flooding across the County.

Volunteers, Residents, Officers from the County Council and Local District Council and Firefighters are mucking in to clear ditches and culverts in flood prone areas all over Essex, including Heybridge, Hockley and West Horndon.

These schemes have seen teams get stuck in clearing over-grown drainage ditches to make sure that surface water can safely flow away from homes and roads and prevent future flooding.

Following work in Wagtail Drive, Heybridge, last week contractors from Essex County Council have used industrial digging and clearing equipment to finish the job started by the team on the ground.

The work in Hockley has even seen managers from Essex Flood and Water Management team swap their desks for a shovel and get stuck in with the Fire Service.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Hill said: “The Essex Flood and Water Management Alliance was formed last year and shown that partnership working like this is a fantastic way to not only prevent flooding but to get communities involved.

“Council workers said that they help to arrange these schemes for the ECFRS and our volunteers and wanted to get involved, so have joined the team.

“This work not only helps to make people safer in their homes and help us to prevent future flooding and keep homes and roads safer it also demonstrates to communities that by working together we can help protect them and their homes. From a fire service perspective, the work will help to reduce emergency calls to assist at flooding incidents.”

Cllr Roger Hirst, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for  Customer Services, Libraries, Planning and the Environment, said: “This close and effective work between Essex County Council’s floods team and the Fire Service volunteers is a real success story. By working together we have been able to help local people resolve longstanding problems, and reduce the risk of future flooding.”

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