Rapid Response Team wades into action
It also brought out an enthusiastic, dedicated and much appreciated contribution from the Taunton and Torbay Rapid Response Teams (RRT).
These teams set up by the Plymouth Brethren Church are staffed by fit and devoted Plymouth Brethren volunteers that are ready at a moment’s notice to provide help to persons and communities in emergencies.
And “Emergency” aptly describes the situation that was rapidly developing in Somerset on November the 21st. The Taunton RRT was put on standby that day as conditions deteriorated and by Friday they called on their colleagues in Torbay to join them and the combined team of 17 literally “waded” into action.
Proving their worth, they toiled around the clock, with the Taunton Dean Council’s Direct Labour Unit, filling sand bags and dispensing them to vulnerable home owners. Using the RRT’s Land Rover they worked with the Police to tow stalled cars to safety and rescued occupant’s stranded in vehicles engulfed by floodwaters; and last but not least, managed to get 14 portions of Fish and Chips through to the weary Firemen who had to work through the night as no one could get through to relieve them.
By midnight Saturday the weather began to ease and most of the team stood down, having filled over 1500 sand bags, saved numerous properties from damage and rescued many marooned souls, including a preacher who told them they were angels!
Taunton Dean Council Leader, John William, said it all when expressing his thanks to those who pitched in to help. – “I can only say a very heartfelt thank you to our staff and to those volunteers who helped as well – that is what being part of the community means. Thanks seem inadequate in these circumstances but I am sure that there are a lot of householders across Taunton Deane who would echo those thanks to a great team that has done so much to help their community”.