Firefighters battle freezing temperatures to get to work

Avon Fire & Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive has praised the dedication of his staff during the current freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall.

Despite much of the Avon area being covered in a heavy blanket of snow the service has maintained full operational staffing levels to ensure local communities are safe.

A number of operational firefighters proved their commitment to AF&RS including two members of Red Watch at Patchway Fire Station. Firefighter Darren Smith walked ten miles from his home, leaving at 5am and Firefighter Paul Henbest left his home in Devon at 4am to ensure he arrived at work on time.

Two firefighters from Bath Fire Station were also committed to getting to work, one arriving the night before and sleeping at the station and the other leaving his home in Shropshire at 4.30am.

A firefighter, who lives in Keynsham but is based at Bedminster Fire Station, was unable to get his car out of the drive, so opted for his bike instead,  cycling six miles to get to work.

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Kevin Pearson said: “These are just some of the amazing stories we have been hearing from our staff, who were committed to getting to work, despite the conditions.

“I am really proud of all our staff, who regardless of the weather either arrived at their normal workplace, relocated to the nearest AF&RS premises, or worked from home. It shows they are truly dedicated to making sure that the communities we serve are protected.

“Throughout the heavy snow and freezing temperatures Avon Fire & Rescue Service has been fully staffed, with all appliances available, including at our retained stations, many of which are in rural areas where conditions are particularly difficult.”

During the bad weather snow chains are available for all fire appliances, four-wheel drive vehicles are being used by AF&RS officers and a fallback location for the AF&RS Control room is on standby to ensure all 999 calls can be taken in the event that staff are unable to get to our Lansdown location.