NEAS copes with the floods

Wat-er night! NEAS battles through the floods to keep ambulances running

Evacuations, a flooded ambulance station and 40 babies and toddlers taking refuge at headquarters.

Just some of the extreme situations faced by NEAS staff yesterday battling against the ferocious rain.

The weather placed tremendous strain on the service, but thanks to the dedication and commitment of staff in all areas of the organisation, NEAS continued to function.

Despite gridlock on the roads and flooded routes, the A & E crews showed great fortitude in reaching their patients, thanks to some sterling work in the control centre.

Some urgent calls were in a stack for a short time, but given the immense pressure on the service, call handlers and clinicians coped admirably.

A number of evacuations took place, in areas such as North Monkseaton, Gateshead and Whitley Bay.

Sandyford Station was closed due to flooding, with sewage and rain water entering the building. Staff were re-located to Blucher.

At HQ, the roof of a nearby nursery collapsed. No-one was hurt, but nursery staff and 40 babies and toddlers took shelter on the ground floor of Bernicia House.

The little ones were dried off and nursery staff provided with spare uniforms due to their drenching, while ground floor NEAS staff kept the children entertained while they waited for their parents.

Paul Liversidge, Chief Operating Officer, said: "I'd like to place on record my thanks to everyone for their efforts yesterday. The extreme weather put enormous pressure on NEAS, and the reaction from all staff was amazing. They were an absolute credit to the job, and there are some fantastic examples of dedication across all divisions.

"Our aim was to preserve our 999 and urgent care services, and we did that despite a number of serious challenges."

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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