Crew rescued 21 and did much more in 96-hour tour

Todmorden Fire Station watch manager Geoff Shaw.
Todmorden Fire Station watch manager Geoff Shaw.

Todmorden firefighters from Blue Watch undertook a marathon tour of duty stretching for 96 hours at the height of last week’s flooding.

Watch Manager at Todmorden Fire Station, Geoff Shaw, praised his shift and urged the public to support their fire service against threat of cuts, reporting on December 30:

“In a 96 hour tour of duty, we have rescued 21 people from flood waters, attended five dangerous structures, four landslides, one building fire, one house fire (persons reported), pumped out the basements at Waterside Lodge and Calderbank House in Todmorden (twice each), and pumped out the lift shaft at Crossley Mill nursery in Hebden Bridge.

“We helped move flood defences to the area to the rear of Central Street School in Hebden where the river wall was partially washed away.

“We requested the Technical Rescue Team from Cleckheaton to shore up a collapsed floor in Charlestown, and ordered the Coastguard helicopter to rescue people from the same row of terraces.

“We responded to the Facebook message for urgent help at Waterside Lodge and have been liaising with structural surveyors, Calderdale Emergency Planning and other Category One (blue light) responders throughout.

“Assistance was provided at Todmorden C of E School in Todmorden, and we’ve been up and down the roads on a regular basis assessing where response is required next.

“Then there were the usual false alarms to deal with.

“We’ve averaged an emergency call every four hours over the last four days.

“The crew are shattered, and I’m proud of them all- well done chaps!

“Red watch take over today, I’m sure they’ll be as busy as we were, and provide the same level of service.

“Apologies to anyone we couldn’t help out - we only have one fire engine covering Todmorden and Hebden Bridge.