Over 1,300 emergency calls to fire service during heatwave

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) has dealt with a phenomenal volume of incidents and emergency calls during the August heatwave.

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Firefighters, staff and volunteers have pulled together to provide exceptional service to the county in challenging conditions to keep everyone safe.

There were 1,381 emergency calls made to the fire service’s control room between 1 and 15 August, compared to 497 in the same period last year.

GFRS was called to tackle 163 fires during this time, which involved grassland, woodland, crops or agricultural machinery – a massive rise on the 19 callouts for the same time last year.

In addition to the grassland fires, GFRS has also been called to a range of other incidents, including river rescues and road traffic collisions.

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member with responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I would like to thank our firefighters and all staff and volunteers at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service for their incredible hard work during the recent spell of hot weather which has been very challenging.

“There has been an exceptional number of incidents and calls, but they have risen to the demands posed by this heatwave to keep everyone safe and I would like to express my gratitude to them on behalf of everyone in Gloucestershire.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Jean Cole said: “The last week has created an unprecedented demand on GFRS and our communities can be assured that our Fire and Rescue Service is here to help and when we are called in an emergency we will be there for you.

“Our fire control operators have handled a phenomenal number of calls in a calm and meticulous fashion, to ensure the elevated number of calls were responded to and appropriately resourced, calling in help from neighbouring services and other agencies when required.

“Our fire crews and officers have worked tirelessly and all our staff and volunteers have pulled together incredibly well, along with our support staff – without them this response wouldn’t have been possible. I would also like to thank the public for their support, for following our advice during the heatwave and helping to keep family and friends safe.”

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