Doncaster council’s A-Team sent out to one emergency a week

The footbridge over Cleveland Street, Doncaster collapsed after a truck knocked it over with it's lifting arm. Picture: Andrew Roe
The footbridge over Cleveland Street, Doncaster collapsed after a truck knocked it over with it's lifting arm. Picture: Andrew Roe

A Doncaster Council department has been sent to deal with the equivalent of one emergency a week over the past year, it has been revealed.

Between February 2014 and last month, the council’s resilience and emergency planning team was called to 55 incidents requiring urgent assistance.

Now the team has been hailed for its vital role in keeping the borough safe.

From severe weather events to power cuts to transport disruption and malicious threats, the council’s emergency response team must be on hand to deal with whatever comes their way. Among the incidents they were called on to deal with over the past year was the collapse of the Cleveland Street pedestrian bridge.

The bridge, over one of the borough’s busiest roads, collapsed onto the town-bound carriageway after it was struck by a lorry with a crane on the back.

The road was closed for more than 12 hours – and the council team worked through the night to remove the damaged bridge sections and make the road safe for use again.

Gill Gillies, council assistant director of environment, said: “The work of the resilience and emergency planning team is crucial to keeping Doncaster’s residents, communities and businesses safe.

She continued: “The range of incidents the team has responded to in the last year emphasises the effort and dedication they show to this important task.”

The risks and scenarios are assessed by specialists and technical experts.

The team then considers what these risks could mean for Doncaster residents and the economy and then prepare arrangements to reduce the impact of events when they occur.

Other incidents dealt with by the team in the 15-month period include a call to a property in Chestnut Grove, Mexborough found to contain suspicious materials in March last year.

The team assisted in the specialist search and response services from police, fire and military.

In September, they were called to High Street, Bentley, after a tyre blaze at Dexel Tyres resulted in a stretch of the A19 being closed for a number of hours.

They were also on hand when 1,600 people were evacuated from the council’s civic offices lost power due to a power surge in March last year, and when a number of premises in Doncaster town centre were left powerless due to a blackout in October.

In total, the team dealt with 24 incidents of loss of power, 16 fires as well as six severe weather events, three major road closures and two security incidents.