In the last few years Surrey has experienced a large number of varying incidents. In each of these incidents, key agencies have come together rapidly to respond to the emergency and to try reduce the impact it caused to residents, businesses, properties and the environment.
Surrey County Council Emergency Management and Resilience Team (EMRT) has officers on-call 24/7 to deal with any emergency that may affect Surrey, some recent incidents that the council has responded to include:
Chobham Common fire March 2019
Crews from six different fire services - Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, London Fire Brigade, West Sussex Fire and Rescue and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue - with a total of 30 vehicles attended the 32 hectare fire at Chobham Common. The fire fighting lasted almost a day, with road restrictions put in place for the duration of the fire. Once the incident scaled down, Surrey Fire and Rescue remained on scene overnight as a precaution.
Staines unexploded hand grenades November 2018
Police officers and bomb disposal units were called to an address in Staines following the discovery of World War 2 hand grenades in one of the residential properties. A 100m police cordon was put in place while residents living nearby the property were evacuated for their safety. The Emergency Management and Resilience Team liaised with partners from Adult Social Care and district and boroughs to set up a rest centre for the displaced residents.
Merstham Water outage May 2018
Around 1800 addresses in Merstham were affected by a water outage, lasting over 24 hours. Vulnerable people were identified and teams from various partner agencies assisted with distributing water to those in need. Multiple teleconferences were held to monitor the situation and confirm actions, until the water supply was restored.
Snow and adverse weather February and March 2018
When snow came to Surrey again in February and March 2018, the Emergency Management and Resilience Team enlisted the help of Surrey 4x4 Response to facilitate social care staff visits to vulnerable patients.
Weybridge Community Hospital fire July 2017
A fire broke out at Weybridge Community Hospital in the middle of the night. Around 100 residents from neighbouring buildings were evacuated due to the scale and severity of the fire, and there were no injuries. A reception centre was initially set up and later on residents were moved to a rest centre. Adult Social Care, the Emergency Management and Resilience Team, Elmbridge Borough Council, Surrey Police and Surrey Fire and Rescue were in attendance to ensure welfare needs of residents were met. A cordon was in place together with road closures and diversions while Surrey Fire and Rescue made the site secure. Residents were allowed to return home the following day.
Bramley gas outage December 2016
A flooded gas main resulted in a gas outage in the Bramley area, affecting around 650 properties. The Emergency Management and Resilience Team worked with partners to coordinate support to vulnerable people and schools in the impacted area, continuing to liaise with the utilities companies involved until services were fully restored.
Woking floods September 2016
The Emergency Management and Resilience Team responded to floods in Woking, aiding in recovery process for flooded properties and a school.
Flooding in Woking and Caterham on the Hill June 2016
The Emergency Management and Resilience Team liaised with district and borough councils to facilitate the recovery process following flash flooding in Woking and surface water flooding in Caterham on the Hill.
Water outage July 2015
A major incident was declared in Runnymede and Spelthorne when a water shortage occurred during a heatwave, following a burst water pipe in Egham. The Emergency Management and Resilience Team were in communication with the water company and with the borough councils to ensure that together plans were actioned and that the best possible provisions were in place for Surrey residents until the normal water service resumed.
Explosion at Weybridge School, March 2015
On 13 March an explosion took place at St George's Junior School in Weybridge. The explosion and consequent fire happened on the roof of a new building under construction, which was separate to the main school property. The children and staff were evacuated and thankfully there were no casualties. They were soon able to return to the main school building, which was unaffected. The response required a multi-agency approach with SCC services working alongside Elmbridge Borough Council, Surrey Police and Surrey Fire & Rescue Service.
Staines Industrial Unit Fire, December 2014
On 1 December in the early hours of the morning, there was a large fire, which broke out on the Renshaw industrial estate in Staines. 100 firefighters attended the scene and around 40 residents from a block of flats behind the industrial estate were evacuated to a local rest centre. Spelthorne Borough Council set up the rest centre and SCC Adult Social Care staff assisted at the centre. Welfare support was also provided by the British Red Cross at both the scene and at the rest centre. Due to the industrial units containing chemicals, local residents were told to keep their windows and doors closed. The incident caused Staines High Street to close for the majority of the day.
Winter floods 2013-2014
In 2013 over the Christmas period and through to the end of February 2014 Surrey was hit by the worst floods in decades and saw two major incidents being declared and 14 severe flood warnings issued within two months. Around 2,000 households suffered from internal flooding and hundreds of people were forced to leave their homes. The response and recovery phrases involved numerous organisations, including Surrey County Council services, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Surrey and Sussex Police, Environment Agency, health sector partners and volunteers, with support from the military. Some of Surrey County Council's actions included identifying vulnerable persons in the affected areas, organising transport for those evacuated, supporting local borough and districts with providing sandbags and setting up rest centres, distributing skips and portable toilets and leading on the recovery phrase.
A3 coach crash September 2012
A major incident was declared following an incident on the northbound A3 by the Hindhead tunnel involving a coach travelling from the Isle of Wight to Merseyside. Surrey County Council's Emergency Duty Manager attended the scene to act as an Incident Liaison Officer. A survivor reception centre was set up for all casualties to be triaged. Surrey County Council supported the emergency services and Merseyside Authorities to ensure that all casualties were accounted for and able to get back home.