Prime minister meets ambulance staff in wake of floods

Following the devastating floods which hit the east coast of Britain earlier this month, Prime Minister David Cameron has met with Robert Flute, head of resilience and special operations for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), and chair of the Norolk Resilience Forum (NRF), whilst he was visiting to see the impact of the flooding on communities.

Described as the ‘most serious’ tidal surge for 60 years, thousands were forced to abandon their homes as tides in part of the North Sea reached higher levels than the damaging floods of 1953.

Mr Flute led the county’s preparations for the flooding, which included an exercise last month playing out a very similar scenario as part of the ongoing programme of work the NRF does.

Robert Flute said: ‘It was a privilege to meet the Prime Minister. He was very interested in how the ambulance service worked closely with other emergency services and partners last week and the work Norfolk Resilience Forum has done around preparing for adverse events and educating the public about what they can do in such situations.

‘The response of the ambulance service last week was first class. We were well prepared to deal with the flooding and work alongside our fire, police and council colleagues. This is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff and managers, and the plans and preparations we have in place to deal with a range of major incidents, such as last week’s flooding.’

Crews from EEAST helped to evacuate the most vulnerable in coastal areas of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex by utilising its hazardous area response team and non-emergency transport services.

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 16 December 2013.