Calderdale floods report: Strength shining through the mess

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As floods swept through the Calder Valley, the unbreakable strength of community spirit shone through the devastation.

Volunteers from across Calderdale, West Yorkshire, and beyond poured into the borough to assist with the flood relief effort.

And among those helping were firefighters from Mytholmroyd fire station, whose own base was severely hit by flooding. The station’s fire engine was evacuated to Halifax and the station was left without a turnout system.

After the crew were stood down after going from job to job throughout Boxing Day, the devastation wrought upon their base was clear to see.

Crew commander David Manning said: “We congregated at the fire station, everything there was more or less destroyed.

“We just decided on mass that we would leave the station and go out and help the community. We helped to clear the mud away at Burnley Road Academy and on Monday, we just went from door to door pumping out cellars.

“Everybody just mucked in - three of the crew were left with flooded houses but they were there helping out. The teamwork was brilliant.

“It’s a reflection of what a firefighter is, you are part of a team.

“We are here to help and on that weekend everybody needed help, but we played a small part in the clean-up effort that went on and that is still going on.

“Everybody has a story to tell.”

West Yorkshire Fire Service is currently recruiting on-call firefighters for the station.

On-call firefighters are paid to work on a standby system, sometimes as a second job. They must live or work within one mile of the fire station, or be able to reach their station within five minutes of receiving an emergency call.

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