A song of snow, ice and fire service
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) support colleagues to help keep Gloucestershire moving as the county was hit by widespread snow and disruption.
We were warned that winter was coming and from the early hours of Sunday morning, adverse weather conditions moved into Gloucestershire from north of the wall, bringing with it up to 14cm of snow in places.
The North Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury were the worst affected, as well as higher ground in other parts of the county.
Over the course of Sunday the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue (GFRS) control room received 54 emergency calls, as well as responding to two chimney fires, two vehicle fires, three road traffic collisions, four co-responder incidents and providing medical assistance at eight call outs.
To support partner agencies including South West Ambulance Service, GFRS mobilised 16 of its 4x4 vehicles to help crews reach those cut off by the weather. The service also helped Sue Ryder at Leckhampton Court by clearing access and offering to take nurses to and from the hospice.
A number of road closures were put in place around Gloucestershire due to broken down vehicles and fallen trees. Other roads were affected by downed power lines with rural areas including Chipping Campden, Northleach and Lydney particularly affected.
Gloucestershire County Council’s highways were also responding to call outs around the clock over the weekend, with the fleet of 29 gritters carrying out 12 runs, ploughing and salting the roads as they went.
Stewart Edgar, Chief Fire Officer at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Residents can be reassured that the fire service is always ready to respond to emergencies, and to provide support to our partners where needed.
“Our crews were incredibly busy throughout Sunday, attending a number of weather related incidents on top of the usual ‘day to day work’ and they did a brilliant job.
“I’d like to thank all of our firefighters, control staff and senior officers for their response to the adverse weather yesterday and into today.”
Cllr Nigel Moor, Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure, said: “Following the snowfall yesterday our highways crews and the fire service were out around the county, responding to call outs and helping to clear roads.
“A lot of people might think that the fire service is just about putting out fires, but there is so much more involved in their roles and they always do a fantastic job. We’re very lucky to have such an excellent service in the county and I’m full of gratitude to them for their efforts.”