Staffordshire Commissioner praises firefighters and community
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime, has praised firefighters tackling major ongoing grassland fires in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Matthew Ellis visited the site on the Roaches at Blackshaw Moor, describing the scene as ‘something from another planet', with farms, grasslands and small holdings blackened and smouldering from the impact of the fires.
Mr Ellis said: ‘The actions of firefighters have been exemplary in arduous conditions. The location of the fires are difficult and the working conditions unpleasant. The smoke-filled atmosphere and hot, windy conditions I found difficult in only an hour of being there. The challenges faced by all involved are very significant.
‘The full-time and retained firefighters are working extraordinary hours and beyond what might be expected.'
As well as speaking to crews on the frontline, Mr Ellis also extended thanks to the businesses who had supported the fire service.
Severn Trent provided water tankers to ensure residents of Leek would not be affected and Jon Beech Recovery supported the use of excavation equipment, to enable helicopters to be used to douse the ground with water from the air.
A number of voluntary organisations are also supporting the firefighters, including Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Peak Volunteers and the rapid relief team.
‘Residents of the Staffordshire Moorlands and wider have shown real community spirit and I would like to thank them for all their support as they continue to show firefighters and, all involved the strength, of a community pulling together,' added Mr Ellis.
The Winking Man Pub and local residents have donated refreshments and allowed use of land for critical equipment to be stored. Residents in Leek have also donated cases of water and snacks.
The Commissioner will be writing formally to Cheshire Fire Service and Derbyshire Fire Service to thank them for the personnel and appliances they continue to provide in support of Staffordshire.