04:01AM, Thursday 20 February 2014
Hard working fire crews have faced a unique challenge as they work alongside unfamiliar faces and carry out multiple tasks to tackle the floods.
Maidenhead Fire Station, off Bridge Road, has been a hive of activity as crews from all over the country arrived to offer their assistance in areas affected by the flooding.
At the peak of the crisis, as many as 15 fire engines and three to four boat crews were operating out of the station, with crews from the likes of Wales, Yorkshire, Humberside and Norfolk among those arriving to offer their help.
Crews have been fulfilling a wide variety of tasks, ranging from pumping duties and helping the army with sandbag defences to delivering water and ferrying residents to safety.
Alongside their efforts, operation support teams have been working 12-hour shifts to ensure the right resources are sent to the right place at the right time.
Speaking at the station on Tuesday, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) station manager Jim Powell said the service had been 'literally doing anything and everything' to help.
"It's really good to see when things go wrong on a large scale it does actually work," he said.
"People have come down here and some have had extremely long journeys.
"They are down here for days away from their families but at no point has there been any issues with morale.
"It's a weird thing, you spend five minutes with someone and it's like you have been working together for quite a while."
With waters now receding, crews will continue to focus on the impact of the flooding and are hoping to take the opportunity to offer practical help, such as pumping out flooded basements.
But officers are warning the flooding is still dangerous and urging drivers to avoid travelling through flooded roads and residents to be aware of the carbon monoxide dangers from pumping equipment and generators.
Visit rbfrs.co.uk for more details.
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