A VILLAGE agent who helped co-ordinate the response to flooding in Muchelney has been praised by fire chiefs.

Carolyn Roche, of the Community Council for Somerset, emailed villagers when houses flooded, advising them to move furniture off the floor, and sent groups to see who needed help.

She said: “I knocked on doors of people who were most vulnerable asking if they wanted to stay or go, and we organised 4x4 ambulances for everyone who wanted to go before the water made it impassable.

“People coped at first, but we realised the water was going nowhere, and issues like social care and food supplies became apparent.

“DSFRS has been a reassuring presence by continually letting residents know the emergency services are on hand.”

Crew manager Mike Toop said the brigade was in Muchelney in April, 2012, after winter floods flagged up a need for home fire safety visits in case fire engines could not reach people quickly.

“We identified and referred home owners who needed care to our partner agencies.

“The partnership with the village agents has proved invaluable to all agencies as Carolyn flagged up to us more vulnerable people who needed home visits, like a gentlemen who needed a deaf smoke alarm.”

The DSFRS also used Carolyn’s contacts to email vital information to villagers.

Mike said: “As time went on and the water was going nowhere we went from door to door again, checking whether fuel was lasting or on anything they needed.”