Cumbria's Emergency Services have been praised for their swift and thorough response to the major incident declared in Cumbria over the weekend due to unprecedented snowfall.

A Major incident was declared in Cumbria on Saturday  and emergency services supported by both Cumberland Westmorland and Furness, Electricity North West, Mountain Rescue Teams and community volunteers quickly responded to reports of stranded motorists and pedestrians caught in treacherous conditions

Superintendent Andy Wilkinson of Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Agencies across Cumbria are working together in response to the impact that heavy snowfall is continuing to have on the county’s roads."

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Chief Fire Officer Rick Ogden response said: "We were part of a multi-agency response launched following heavy snowfall that resulted in widespread challenges across the county.

Rick Ogden said: “I am immensely proud of the role Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service played, alongside our emergency services and local authority colleagues, in response to the extreme conditions we faced at the weekend.

“Our Firefighters had an exceptionally challenging weekend but, once again, rose to the challenge and worked tirelessly to help those in need.”

Among the many incidents Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service assisted were:

• 9pm on Saturday; a crew from Ambleside was mobilised in a 4x4 to collect and deliver bedding, and to assist the police in providing welfare in the local reception centre for over 200 members of the public

• 11pm on Saturday; at Ings, Kendal, a crew assisted North West Ambulance Service in a time-critical extraction from a stranded vehicle

• 2am on Sunday; on-call crews in 4x4 vehicles assisted the police with locating individuals in stranded vehicles in the Satterthwaite area

• on Sunday evening, we assisted in transporting an engineer to a remote United Utilities plant to prevent loss of water to 400 homes

Additionally, throughout the emergency phase, we assisted United Utilities in delivering bottled water to areas without supply, and fire stations were used as collection points for water and emergency centres for responders.

Times and Star: electricity North Westelectricity North West (Image: NQ)

In addition to gritting major routes Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness highways crews supported other partner agencies such as Electricity North West to gain access to areas where they have power outages. 

Councillor Denise Rollo, Cumberland Council Executive Member for Sustainable, Resilient and Connected Places, said: “The drop in temperatures and difficult road conditions presents motorists with a number of issues that make drivers, cyclists and pedestrians more vulnerable. The council urges road users to plan ahead of their journey for delays and poor weather conditions, and supports the advice offered by motoring authorities such as the Institute of Advanced Motorists, RAC and Department for Transport.