Suffolk County Council pays tribute to unsung heroes from recent snow disruption
PUBLISHED: 17:09 23 March 2018
Suffolk County Council has paid tribute to the unsung heroes who helped keep Suffolk moving during the recent snow storms.
A motion was put forward to Thursday’s full council meeting to formally recognise the “sterling work” of all those who helped make a difference during the ‘Beast from the East’ snow.
Among those who were recognised were Highways teams, nurses, carers, hospital and other healthcare staff who worked additional hours and battled through the snow to continue treating patients, firefighters, and farmers who helped clear roads.
Other members of the public who assisted neighbours, checked on vulnerable people, and helped transport friends and family to key jobs were also hailed.
Following various comments from councillors in recognition of the efforts of those who went above and beyond, Jane Storey, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, transport and rural issues, said: “What I have heard this afternoon is Suffolk is brilliant – we look after our own and get on with it.”
She added: “There were people who were doing amazing things.”
Nearly 80 farmers helped clear the county’s roads, while others also volunteered their services.
Teachers who made the early trips to their schools to make decisions on whether closures were needed were praised, as were those who took the decision to work from home.
Beccy Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care, added: “Privately I have thanked a number of staff for going above and beyond, but there are many examples of people in communities who rose to the challenge.”
A public appeal for 4x4 drivers to help drive hospital staff to and from work in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds resulted in 86 offers within 24 hours of the callout, which Ipswich Hospital said was “overwhelming”.
Other reports of personal sacrifice included a number of employees at Ipswich, west Suffolk and Colchester hospitals choosing to stay the night after their shifts finished to ensure they would be available to provide care the following day, while many more reports were of staff working on days off and additional hours.
In rural parts of the county, farmers and Suffolk Fire and Rescue’s Unimog all terrain vehicle were seen helping pull stranded vehicles – including ambulances– clear from snow.