North Yorkshire sees rise in deaths and injuries caused by flooding and water incidents
More deaths and injuries were caused by flooding and other water emergencies in North Yorkshire last year, new figures show.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said the effects of climate change mean it is “no surprise” that flood deaths hit a record high across England, as it called on the Government to boost firefighters’ resources for such incidents.
Home Office data shows that in the area, 15 deaths or injuries occurred in incidents where firefighters were called to flooding or other water emergencies in 2019-20 – up from nine in 2018-19. Figures reveal that last year’s incidents involved five deaths and 10 hospitalisations.
The FBU said it was “long past time” the Government gave fire crews in England a statutory duty to respond to flooding – as is already the case in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This would ensure that flood risks were fully assessed, and the necessary resources made available to tackling major flooding, it argues.
A Government spokeswoman said the vast majority of fatalities and casualties come from water and rescue incidents, such as lakes and rivers, not flooding.
She added: “Fire and rescue services are always ready to respond when people get into difficulty in water, and people should stay away from swollen rivers, take care by the coast, and always follow the advice of the emergency services during flooding.”