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Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 16:25 GMT
Army specialists on flood standby
Green Goddess
There may not be enough Green Goddesses to cope
Flooding could stretch the Green Goddess cover of the firefighters' strike to breaking point, it has been claimed.

With the Met Office predicting heavy downpours across the UK, firefighters' union chiefs say dealing with floods will put the military's resources under pressure.

But the Government says specialist army units - normally only called out in times of major flooding - are already on standby.

They will be prepared to deal with localised flooding if the number of call-outs proves too much for the Green Goddesses.


The Green Goddesses will remain the first port of call

Government spokeswoman
Fire brigade bosses say they are considering stepping in if floods spark a national emergency.

Secretary of Hampshire Fire Brigades Union Harry Williams said: "Obviously we have concerns.

"There are times when we are stretched ourselves so one can extrapolate from that to say that if we are hard pressed with the number of vehicles we have then they will be hard pressed with theirs."

He added: "If an area was to be flooded to the extent that they needed help, that it became a national emergency, I would suggest that would be an occasion where we would come in."

On Wednesday there were seven flood warnings in force across the UK, with the Met Office warning that the "risk is likely to increase".

A government spokeswoman confirmed that local army units were ready to help out their colleagues on the Green Goddesses.

She added: "But the Green Goddesses will remain the first port of call."


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