Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Chief Officer Alasdair Hay praised his staff, partner agencies, volunteers and communities for the way they have responded to devastation caused by Storm Frank the other day but forgot to mention Dumfries and Galloway, but he  has know acknowledged all the hard work carried out by our local Rescue service workers and volunteers.

Many communities across Scotland have been hit by devastating floods which have forced people out of their homes during the festive season, with some areas still affected at the present time.

Crews have been working flat out for over a week to ensure people’s continued safety and that fire and rescue cover is maintained during extraordinary and extremely challenging circumstances.

The national service has provided enhanced resilience during the winter storm period, with resources from across Scotland available to support one another. One such example saw crews from Dundee support their colleagues in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, which was amongst one of the worst hit areas in terms of flooding.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Chief Officer, Alasdair Hay, said: “Storm Frank has brought misery to many of our communities over the past few days.

“It is impossible to find any words to describe how those affected must be feeling. They have seen their homes and businesses destroyed by flooding but are showing incredible resilience in the face of adversity.

“Alongside our communities many agencies and volunteers have worked tirelessly to help and support those affected. I want to pay tribute to all those who have worked so hard to support their communities.

“However, I want to pay particular tribute to all our SFRS staff right across the country as their efforts have, and continue to be extraordinary.”


One of the most badly affected areas in the West was Dumfries and Galloway with crews called out to 18 different incidents from December 30 to New Year’s Day.Flooding affected almost the entire region and every appliance within the Dumfries and Galloway area was utilised to assist. Support was also provided from other areas in the West including a water rescue team from Ayr.

The Carsephairn area was badly affected by flooding with around 30 properties affected by flood water. Several appliances were mobilised to the village as well as a specialist water rescue team. Crews worked closely with their multi-agency partners and carried out checks at properties, rescued two people from flood water and pumped out flooded areas.

Newton Stewart was one of the most badly affected areas with the entire high street (Victoria Street) badly affected by flooding. The fire station and police station were both flooded. Five crews and specialist water rescue team were involved in the Newton Stewart response operation and they received support from the SPCA’s flood rescue team. Crews carried out checks at properties to ensure people were safe within their homes and rescued a significant number of people from flood water from the River Cree. A large number of businesses and commercial properties were damaged by flood water.

Local authority rest centres were set up in Carsephairn and Newton Stewart to accommodate for displaced members of the public. White Sands in Dumfries was also badly affected by flooding after the River Nith burst its banks. Several people had to be rescued and a number of commercial properties were affected.

On Hogmanay crews were called to deal with flooding at the Carlingwark Loch in Castle Douglas and firefighters were involved in support work there for most of the day. There were other localised incidents which were dealt with by crews including a number of rescues from flood water and vehicles within flood water.

Station Manager Joe Shepherd said: “I remember the first calls coming in at 6.30am and they just didn’t stop coming in. It was so busy, with incidents being reported all the time.

“All the crews across the region showed a fantastic amount of commitment and professionalism over an energy-sapping two to three day period.

“We were delighted with the level of support we received from our partner agencies and from the public, who showed incredible resilience and spirit.

“There was an incident where we assisted a bakery which had suffered flooding the owner provided the crews with pies and pastries. That’s just one example of the tremendous support we received. It was so heart- warming to receive such support during a time we were so stretched.”

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