Suffolk fire chief helps in York floods

The scene in York Commander John Tiffen has been leading relief efforts in

The scene in York Commander John Tiffen has been leading relief efforts in - Credit: Archant

Senior Suffolk fire officer John Tiffen is spending the New Year weekend at home after returning from a key role in co-ordinating the response to floods in northern England.

Mr Tiffen, who is based in Lowestoft, is a Group Commander with special responsibility for Suffolk’s flood response. Fire services across the country co-ordinate with each other to offer expertise when serious flooding hits an area – Mr Tiffen’s role was to help co-ordinate the work of flood teams from across the country.

Teams from Cheshire, Merseyside, and other counties were called in – but their work needed co-ordination from senior offices like Mr Tiffen.

He said: “On Tuesday I went to Cumbria because there were fears that area could be hit by Storm Frank after the two storms before Christmas.

“In the event the storm’s worst effects were a bit further north, in Scotland. They did not need the help we could bring so we went to York to help out there.”

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Mr Tiffen returned home late on New Year’s Eve – “just in time for a glass of wine with the family!” he said, however he did miss a relation’s wedding.

There is still a great deal of clearing up to be done in York. The city is used to some flooding, but this spell has been the worst for many years.

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Mr Tiffen said: “In a sense those areas that do get flooded are prepared. But this year has seen flooding in areas where it has not happened for many years – and people in those areas are really struggling.”

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