MSPs have praised the commitment and hard work of Scotland’s emergency services during the recent unprecedented flooding across the country.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson today visited the multi-agency incident room in Dundee, where the cross-service response to the flooding across Tayside was coordinated.
He met those who played a lead role in coordinating the emergency response, and heard firsthand from firefighters who were on the ground leading the rescue efforts, going above and beyond to help communities.
At the height of the response in early January, hundreds of police and fire officers were deployed. Fire control rooms across Grampian and Tayside responded to around 500 calls relating a huge variety of situations, from pumping water at flooded properties to rescuing a mother and child trapped in their car and supporting a helicopter evacuation at a flood-hit farm.
Fire crew and resources from across Scotland including water rescue teams, a decontamination unit and high-volume pump, gathered at incident control in Dundee before being deployed to flooding incidents across the north east. Firefighters from Tayside and further afield supported colleagues in the north-east to tackle the major flooding incident.
Speaking during his visit earlier, Mr Matheson said: “Many people across Scotland have seen their homes and livelihoods damaged due to flooding over recent weeks and recent television reports have brought home the scale of the devastation that severe weather can cause.
“Today I was able to hear from some of those who were on the front line responding directly to the emergency and meet some of those who coordinated the emergency response. As always, I was struck by the sheer professionalism and commitment shown by everyone involved in the face of sustained pressure over a number of weeks. It is clear that the action taken to respond to the flooding is unlike anything our emergency services have ever seen before, but the partnership working that is taking place to help the recovery efforts has been hugely successful.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to thank our blue light services for, yet again, going above and beyond the call of duty to protect our communities and keep Scotland safe.
“We have seen enormous benefits coming out of having single, national police and fire and rescue services that are able to quickly move resources to support affected communities across Scotland in responding to flooding and severe weather. Alongside this, it’s also important to recognize the hugely important response from communities themselves and the joint effort between members of the public who have given up their time to volunteer and the emergency services is simply fantastic. I know the work is still not over, however I am confident that Scotland’s emergency responders will continue to provide the highest quality service to those in need.”