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 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:
Explosion at Weybridge School, March 2015
On 13th 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 1st 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.
Snow November & December 2010
Snow came to Surrey again during November and December, the response by the Emergency Management Team and other SCC services was similar to that taken during the previous snowfalls. SCC utilised 4x4s provided by the Red Cross, Environment Agency and the South East 4x4 group to ensure that social care staff could visit vulnerable patients.
Oxshott Train Incident November 2010
On 5th November a cement mixer went through a bridge parapet in Oxshott and fell onto a train passing below. One carriage of the train was badly crushed, while a couple of others suffered significant damage. The emergency services quickly arrived at the scene to ensure the passengers could be removed from the train safely and those 2 people trapped in the wreckage could be rescued. SCC put on standby transport to take passengers to a rest centre and social care staff were deployed to assist at the centre.
Heathland Fires 2010
The hot, dry weather over summer 2010 led to a number of common fires throughout the county, once of the more significant fires happened on Frensham Common, near Farnham in July. The 35-hectare fire was tackled by more than 90 firefighters as it spread towards homes. Emergency teams were preparing to evacuate properties bordering the common, but thankfully crews brought the fire under control.
Unexploded WWII Device June 2010
A suspected Second World War device was found in a property close to Camberley town centre. Roads were closed and a 400m cordon was put in place with some residents asked to leave their homes amid fears the device was a World War II bomb. The cordon also encompassed much of Camberley town centre, including the Surrey Heath council offices and railway station. Surrey Heath Borough Council and Surrey County Council set up a rest centre to accommodate those residents in the area who had been evacuated. The British Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit responded and it was found to be a training device, which wasn't dangerous, which they were able to deal with accordingly.