04:01AM, Thursday 20 February 2014
With river levels falling and the flooding having receded significantly in many areas, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is now starting to scale back the resources used to deal with the situation.
From tomorrow, all of the crews and officers from the other fire and rescue services across England and Wales who have been assisting RBFRS will return home, apart from those crewing the High Volume Pumps (HVPs) and officers from the National Resilience Assurance Team.
HVPs are still in place in key locations around the county, including Wraysbury, pumping out flood and groundwater. HVPs can pump out water at a rate of 7,000 litres per minute, compared with a standard fire appliance, which pumps out water at 2,500 litres per minute.
As a precautionary measure, RBFRS will also keep extra resources such as additional fire appliances in place in key areas for the time being.
In addition, RBFRS will continue to offer assistance and support to people in flood-hit communities.
Group Manager Steve Smith said: “People may notice that there are significantly fewer fire crews around after today than they have been used to seeing over the last couple of weeks.
“However, I would like to reassure people that we are still working very hard to pump out water in the worst affected areas and that we are constantly monitoring and reviewing our operations.
“If the situation should change, we will once again move staff and equipment around accordingly and put extra resources in place if required."
He thanked fire crews from across the country, residents affected by the flooding who have been 'extremely helpful and supportive' despite 'having often suffered devastating damage to their homes and property' and 'the kind people who have brought out refreshments for the crews'.