Help in flood crisis
Volunteers from St John Ambulance
Northumbria came forward in their droves as severe flooding ravaged
the North East of England.
As the call for help was sounded, dozens
of St John Ambulance members rallied to help as people were forced
to abandon their homes to the rising water.
Lynn Horrocks, the County Commissioner, who
managed the volunteers’ involvement alongside Operations
Co-ordinator John Purvis, said: 'Within half an hour of being asked
to provide backup for the local councils and the ambulance service,
we had 30 volunteers standing by, a team manning a rescue centre in
County Hall, Morpeth, and three ambulance crews working alongside
the North East Ambulance Service, dealing with casualties across
'The rain was astonishing – like a monsoon –
and the floods were wide ranging affecting hundreds of homes in
Morpeth, Corbridge, Ponteland, into Newcastle, and all the towns
and villages along the rivers and low lying areas in between.'
It was an excellent response and our members were amazing. They are often overlooked as they quietly go about their duties, but they worked extremely hard for many hours, helping the community at a time of great need.
Lynn said the volunteers were part of a huge
emergency operation working around the clock throughout the
weekend, and were now standing by for more work with further severe
rain forecast for later this week.
'We had a team in a minibus who were called to
help evacuate an old people’s home,' Lynn said.
'Two centres were set up for people who were
forced out of their homes, and some are still using them because
they have no electricity in their houses. We were responsible for
manning one of the centres, working alongside volunteers from the
Salvation Army, and at the height of the crisis we were looking
after 50 people at a time who were suffering from the cold and wet
and from shock.
'Our ambulance crews were kept extremely busy
and hampered by roads blocked by the water. But our members were
fantastic – they dropped whatever they were doing and rallied to
'It was an excellent response and our members
were amazing. They are often overlooked as they quietly go about
their duties, but they worked extremely hard for many hours,
helping the community at a time of great need.'