Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Fire Service responds to 70 flood incidents in 24 hours

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service was called to over 180 incidents in 24 hours yesterday after heavy rain caused wide spread flooding across the County.

Firefighters responded to around 70 rescue incidents which included a dog who had been swept away in a river in Halstead, a number of flooded properties as well as road traffic collisions.

The Fire Control Room team worked tirelessly throughout the gruelling 24 hours, dealing with triple the calls the Service usually receives on an average day. On top of the emergency incidents that were being dealt with, the team also received around 90 calls which came from homeowners and drivers who were experiencing the effects of the flooding, but were not a life risk. These incidents did not require a fire service response and callers were given advice by our Control Room Operators.

On an average day, the Fire Service receives 58 calls to incidents and the last 24 hours has seen triple the volume of calls.

On-call firefighters in Braintree spent nearly 3 hours preventing flood water entering 12 houses last night after the River Brain in Great Notley burst its banks. The team worked with on-call firefighters from Maldon who brought specialist equipment to help pump the water in sections away from the houses as well as with the Environment Agency.

Station Manager Steve Wintrip from Braintree Fire Station said: “Crews worked really hard in falling temperatures to prevent the water getting into the front doors and were there for several hours at the end of a particularly challenging day attending water related incidents.” 

While the Fire Service works with partner agencies to help during floods, it can only respond to incidents when there is a risk to life while also responding to a variety of incidents including fires, road traffic collisions and gas leaks. 

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service advises drivers not to risk driving through floodwater and instead to turn around and find another route.

For home owners, the Service’s advice for residents whose homes are being affected by floodwater is and only if it is safe to do so:

- Ensure your external drains are clear of debris

- Take everything off the ground to prevent damage

- Turn electrics off and if you cannot do this safely, call an electrician

Could you be an on-call firefighter?

Many of the incidents over the last 24 hours were attended by on-call firefighters who all live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station. 

On-call firefighters are paid to protect their local community, if you live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station you could be one of more than 500 on-call firefighters protecting their local community. 

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