Action stations as freeze continues

FUN IN THE SNOW -- Nick Lester and his four-year-old son Niall in Hucknall

FUN IN THE SNOW -- Nick Lester and his four-year-old son Niall in Hucknall

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THE BIG chill is set to continue throughout the Dispatch district as sub-zero temperatures take hold following last weekend’s heavy snowfall.

During blizzard conditions last Saturday in Hucknall and Bulwell, councils’ emergency plans kicked into action with gritters working round the clock to keep roads safe and traffic flowing.

They will continue to be on red alert over the coming days.

Edd de Coverly, service director for environment at Ashfield District Council, said: “The council’s gritting and environmental services teams have worked tirelessly.

“We have also endeavoured to work proactively in areas where vulnerable people have previously requested our assistance.

“We hope these efforts enabled people to move around safely and for those that wanted to, enjoy the snowy conditions.”

With temperatures set to remain low, elderly and vulnerable residents in Hucknall are being offered a lifeline if their heating breaks down.

For Notts County Council has a supply of oil-filled radiators on standby to loan out.

Coun Kevin Rostance (Con), a Hucknall member of the county council and lead member for adult social care, said: “The emergency heating is one of a number of schemes the county council has put in place this winter to try and reduce the high number of tragic, needless deaths related to the cold.

“Boiler breakdowns are more common in the winter. Being without heating can be distressing for anyone, but even more so when you are older, in poor health and at greatest risk from the cold.”

The emergency heating is available by calling the council’s contact centre on 08449 80 80 80.

Throughout last Sunday, East Midlands ambulance crews received more than 1,000 life-threatening 999 calls on Sunday due to road accidents, slips, falls and breathing problems.

Director of operations Peter Ripley, said: “We have been under additional pressure and it is especially challenging for us to reach people quickly when many roads are covered with snow or ice.

“Calls increased due to more road traffic collisions, slips or falls and for people who experienced breathing problems due to an existing medical condition and the low temperatures.”

The teams were also joined by volunteers from the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance.

Mr Ripley added: “The bad weather is set to continue and people are urged to heed the advice offered by the emergency and health services and to use common sense. Be a responsible driver and slow down.”

OUR PHOTO shows Nick Lester and four-year-old son, Niall, enjoying a sledging trip during last weekend’s snow — DISPIC NHUD12-0232-2.