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HEATWAVE: Kings Langley firefighter describes frontline of heatwave as ‘brutal’ and ‘arduous’

 Published on: 3rd August 2022   |   By: Christina Pantelly   |   Category: Uncategorized

Kings Langley Fire Station had its “busiest day on record” as Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) received a total of 450 calls on the hottest day in UK history.

A number of wildfires broke out across the county on Tuesday, July 19, when temperatures reached a record high of 40 degrees.

Firefighter Barry Webster, from Kings Langley Fire Station, described the day as “brutal” and “arduous” as he helped to tackle the fires, which caused a significant amount of damage.

Barry said: “I actually had the day off work due to the heat anyway, but I was called in. We started off quite early. We had our first call at 6.30am and we were virtually out all day until 9pm. We were called all over the county. We were called to Maple Cross in the morning and a couple of standbys in Watford. Due to the heat, it was very arduous and crew welfare was paramount in the control’s eyes so they tried to rotate crews as often as they could because of the high temperatures.”

Speaking about wearing the firefighter’s uniform in the heat, Barry added: “It was extremely hot; we have to take a lot of water on and take lots of rest. It wasn’t a nice place to be.”

A spokesperson for HFRS said: “HFRS staff and crews managed an unprecedented number of 999 calls and attended multiple large-scale incidents across the county during the heatwave. In testing circumstances, crews responded to an unrelenting stream of incidents including road traffic collisions and fires close to major motorways.”

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