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Helston flood firefighters who saved Christmas are 'heroes'
7:00am Thursday 10th January 2013 in Cornwall
Firefighters who saved Christmas for many Helston families through their tireless efforts in holding flood water at bay have been described as “heroes.”
On call crew members from Helston Fire Station, along with other firefighters drafted in from elsewhere in the county, worked non-stop to reduce water levels and stop people’s homes being flooded when the Cober River burst its banks the Saturday before Christmas.
One of the worst affected areas was St John’s Road, where water was three feet high in places.
At one stage more than 10,000 litres of water was being pumped out every minute – 8,000 through a high volume pump and another 2,500 litres through two smaller pumps at the other end of the road.
Although some houses did see their ground flood covered in a foot of water, the actions of the fire service prevented many more homes being flooded out just three days before Christmas.
One grateful resident, who did not want to be named, said she was planning to bake the Helston firefighters a cake and hand deliver it to the fire station, with a personal thank you.
She said: “I think they were totally and absolutely heroes. I think they’re underestimated – they’re wonderful.”
However, she said people walking through the flood water unnecessarily were “guilty of casual cruelty” as they caused waves that then raised the water high enough to go over the steps into homes.
She added that 4x4 vehicles driving through the flood water, despite warnings that the road was unsuitable to travel along, increased the problems.
Another resident, who also did not want to be named, was similarly full of praise for the firefighters.
She said: “They tried really hard to save our place and they did succeed. They stayed out here pumping for lots of hours.”
She believed that without the efforts of the fire crews her house would “definitely” have flooded, as the water had reached the top step.
Her family thanked them on the day and have also contacted their MP, Andrew George, asking him to officially pass on their gratitude.
Keith Stringer, fire station officer at Helston, said: “We’re just really glad we could do our bit and be of some help to people.”
He said his crewmembers, as well as those around the county, had all worked “extremely hard” over the festive period.
In Helston they are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We were just happy we could help and did help,” he added.
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