AN urgent plea has been made to stop putting their lives, and those of the emergency services, as risk during the current flooding.
It follows a busy weekend for the ambulance service which has had to deal with a number of flood related incidents.
In particular, the service is concerned by the number of people who have failed to take suitable precautions when they have come across flood hit roads.
WMAS General Manager, Nathan Hudson said: “No-one can have missed the heavy rain and strong winds that battered the region. However, despite this, we were called out to several incidents where cars have tried to pass through flooded roads, fords, and small rivers and got stuck.
“The net effect is that the occupants have become trapped in their vehicles and the emergency services have had to risk difficult and often dangerous conditions in the middle of the night to come and rescue them.
“It is quite simple; driving through flood water is inherently dangerous. When you start off you simply have no idea how deep it will be, whether there will be hidden obstacles such as raised man hole covers that could damage your car. Flood water can also be very fast moving and we have seen incidences where the levels of water rise very quickly, which can catch out even the most experienced drivers.
“People who attempt to pass through flooded roads are not only putting their own lives at risk, but also the lives of the emergency services staff who have to rescue them. A little bit of common sense from the public will ensure that no one’s life is put in any unnecessary danger.
“Perhaps surprisingly, we have had to deal with a remarkable number of stuck 4x4s. Just because your vehicle has four wheel drive, does not make it amphibious. They too can become stuck in deep flood water.
“We would urge people to not try and get across flood water and instead take a short detour, rather than become trapped in their cars and have to be rescued.”
“As with all of the incidents overnight, the trust had the resources to deal with them, however, we would encourage people to be sensible today and until the waters recede. Ambulance staff are primarily here to deal with life threatening emergencies.
“Finally, we would like to thank all our staff and volunteers who have worked throughout the night in horrendous weather conditions, ensuring that members of the public were safe and received the help they needed around the region.”