A spokesman for Keswick MRT gives an account of the flood efforts in this week's Keswick Reminder Newspaper. I will summarise it so you can appreciate how important it was that they helped with the flood victims.
They were contacted at 9.30 am Thurs 19th to give assistance where and when required.
Team and Deputy leaders went to the Silver Command Centre in the Council Chambers.
As the morning progressed tasks were relayed back to base at Lakeside car park. These included evacuations from Ravensfield Old People's Home, and houses at Crosthwaite Gardens, Glebe Close, High Hill, Limepots, Ashtree Avenue, St Kentigern's Close and Crosthwaite Road.
Many of these were made with the teams inflatable boat and they worked closely with the Fire Rescue Service and their boat. Once safely out of the water residents were taken to evacuation centres.
During the morning National Parks staff arrived with 3 more 4x4 vehicles and these were utilised too.
It soon dawned that more help was needed and usually they would ask Cockermouth MRT for help but that was out of the question so a call was made to Gold Command at Carlton Hall, Penrith and teams were mobilised from Kirkby Stephen, Teesdale and Swaledale + and RAF Sea King Helicopter was asked to search fields near Crosthwaite Church.
These teams initially worked in Keswick but were re-tasked to Cockermouth once Keswick became quieter.
News arrived of the bridge collapse in Workington and the missing police officer. Team personnel were sent to Workington in response to assist with the search.
Keswick team finally closed its base late on Saturday afternoon after receiving various non-urgent requests from Silver Command.
Further assistance was sent to Cockermouth on Monday between 11am and 5pm to be on call at Cockermouth Mountain Rescue base.
All in all, 40 hours of continuous cover, and at the height of the storm 60 personnel, were operating from Keswick base.
To summarise they feel the agencies worked well together and want to thank and applaud the Fire and Rescue Service, The National Park Authority, Teesdale, Swaledale and Kirkby Stephen Rescue Teams, the RAF, the 'Silver Command' and last, but by no means least, Bryson's Ltd for all the pies and cakes!
So there you have it, a clear demonstration of sheer courage and determination which should set all of your minds at rest if you venture onto the hills. These heroes deserve our heart felt thanks and I want to say thank you from me too if you kept away from the hills whilst the team was needed elsewhere. The Cockermouth Team also deserve our thanks.
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