FIREFIGHTERS from Teesside have returned to normal duties after helping flood emergency teams in the south of England last week.

Cleveland Fire Brigade sent a Swift Water rescue team – consisting of six officers from its Thornaby fire station – to help Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue.

With them were the Brigade’s Middlesbrough Station Manager Ian Dixon, who was co-ordinating the deployment, and Thornaby Station Manager Alan Brown, who leads the swift water rescue team.

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The team is trained to carry out rescues in fast-flowing water such as rivers and floods.

The eight officers were in Berkshire between Tuesday and Friday to help.

Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said “We are pleased to be able to support our colleagues in the south-east of England in what really can only be described as a national disaster.

“Whilst the fire service does not receive direct funding to attend floods there is definitely a strong public expectation that we would do something and this is the case here, even though it’s happened 300 miles away.”