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Legion parking officers help to rescue 300 cars from a flooded car park

05 March 2013

Parking officers from Legion Parking Services have helped 300 drivers to rescue their cars from a flooded car park in Stafford town centre.

On 11th February, the water levels on Doxey Marshes rose significantly due to heavy rain and melting snow, causing nearby Doxey Road car park to flood. Officers from Legion Parking Services, a division of OCS Group UK, were patrolling the area and alerted Stafford Borough Council who used various communication channels, including Twitter, to tell motorists to return to the car park and rescue their vehicles.

The parking team, officially called civil enforcement officers, stayed at the car park providing assistance from around 11am to 6pm. Most motorists weren’t kitted out for wading through the floodwaters. So the officers took their keys, waded through the water to each vehicle, and drove it to dry land. Around 300 vehicles were rescued.

The officers involved were Mick Allsop, Shaun Bailey, Paul Caunce, Max Ramsden, Kerry Wakelin, Matt Wilde and Andy Wilson.

“Congratulations and sincere thanks to the team for their efforts,” said Steve Allen, parking manager of Stafford Borough Council. “Clearing 300 vehicles from the flood waters of Doxey Road with what appears to be minimal damage to vehicles and the public's shoes and socks is a miracle. Without the team’s efforts we would not have been able to achieve anything like this considering the speed and severity of the flood water.”

Members of the public whose cars were rescued contacted Stafford Borough Council to praise the team for their efforts.
“The wardens and other staff did a really great job wading in to fetch cars for people,” one person emailed in to say. “It was cold and wet (very wet!) yet they were in very good spirits - well done to them!”

Another person wrote: “I would just like to say a massive thank you to the ticket wardens who were retrieving cars from the flood. It was very kind of them to stand in the cold to help everybody including myself.”

In recognition of their efforts, OCS will present the officers with A Beyond the Call of Duty (ABCD) award, an internal awards scheme for staff who go the extra mile in their work.

The team, whose responsibilities include ensuring drivers have paid to park and issuing fines where necessary, do not always receive such high praise from the public. They are delighted to be recognised for the positive aspects of their work.

“As well as patrolling to ensure drivers have paid, the team is there to assist the public and to act as ambassadors to Stafford Borough Council. They’re there to help and it’s wonderful that they have been acknowledged by the council and the public for doing this,” said Tony Goddard, Legion head of parking services. “Staff have been praised for acting professionally and upholding the traditions of the council's willingness to help. Congratulations to everyone involved and keep up the great work.”

“The officers’ actions are well above and beyond the contractual requirements and expectations,” said Mark Shenton, contract manager at Legion Group. “The customer was delighted with the way our staff handled the situation. They all willingly assisted and remained cheerful during the course of the day, which provided comfort and reassurance to the public.”

Legion Parking Services has successfully serviced the Stafford Borough Council contract for over 20 years.

About Legion Parking Services

Legion Parking Services manages more than 400 car parks across the UK on behalf of local authorities, NHS trusts, retail parks and private organisations. As one of the UK’s leading providers of car park management solutions Legion Parking Services can offer advice and guidance on the most suitable system for clients’ needs and use the very latest in parking technology, including CCTV monitoring and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR).

Legion is a member of the British Parking Association's approved Operator Scheme and all its sites are compliant with the BPA Code of Practice.

Legion Parking Services forms part of OCS Group, the international total facilities management provider employing more than 77,000 people in 40 countries worldwide, with a turnover in excess of 710 million (for the year ending March 2012).

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