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Press Release - Service responds to community during severe weather
Posted on 02/03/2018

Motorists are being urged not to use the roads this morning (Friday 2 March) as continued snow in parts overnight, and freezing rain, on top of sub-zero temperatures, has made driving conditions potentially dangerous.

Sheet ice has been forecast and this presents an extreme risk as you cannot see it, and gritting has no effect. Please take extra care if travelling during this time.

The Service has been assisting and helping the other emergency services yesterday and this morning due to the severe weather in Devon and Somerset.

Crews worked with other agencies to rescue hundreds of people from vehicles at Haldon Hill, A30, A303, and the Blackdown Hills. The Service has also staffed on-call fire stations at key locations to ensure fire engines are able to mobilise to emergencies as quickly as possible.

In Yeovil, fire crews are using 4x4 vehicles to take critical health workers to the hospital to work.

Fire crews’ activity in the community includes the following:

• Paignton took two people to Newton Abbot hospital for medication.
• Cheddar transported three people to the village centre after a road traffic collision (no injuries) due to the isolated location.
• A disabled man and carer in Taunton were taken to a place of safety after being stuck in snow.
• Castle Cary assisted a woman home on return from an incident
• Crediton provided bullocks with water due to the farmer’s water being frozen
• Newton Abbot helped around 12 people to places of safety after incidents
• Chulmleigh transported a patient with a paramedic following an anaphylactic reaction.
• Paignton took two people to Newton Abbot hospital as a woman needed medicine and flagged down the crew.
• Crews took a woman who had been stuck in her car for four hours home in the four-wheel drive.
• Porlock made contact with their local village agent to see if any assistance was needed for vulnerable people around the area and helped with transportation.

Fire safety advice

If you are using alternative sources of heating and lighting due to a lack of power during the current severe weather, please take account of the following advice:

• When using electric heaters, do not get too close or use them to dry clothes
• Make sure candles are secured in a fire resistant holder and away from like furniture and curtains.
• Put candles out when you leave the room and make sure they’re put out completely before you go to bed.
• Never leave burning candles unattended.

Importantly, ensure that flues and chimneys are clear of snow. Fuel burning appliances without adequate ventilation can lead to carbon monoxide gas being produced. You can't see it, taste it or smell it but CO poisoning can be fatal or cause permanent damage to your health.

Watch out for the early symptoms of poisoning such as headaches and feeling sick and if you think you have carbon monoxide poisoning, you should:

• Leave the contaminated area immediately and get out in to the open air
• Seek urgent medical advice from either your GP or your A&E department.
• Call the Gas Emergency Free phone Number on 0800 111 999


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