Fire chief rescued after 4x4 gets stuck in floods

North Yorkshire chief fire officer Nigel Hutchinson

North Yorkshire chief fire officer Nigel Hutchinson

First published in News

NORTH Yorkshire’s fire chief had to be rescued after his car broke-down when he drove it into flood-water.

Motorists have been urged by the fire brigade in recent weeks to avoid driving into standing water, but chief fire officer Nigel Hutchinson did so on his way to a meeting and became stuck.

Mr Hutchinson was in a BMW X5 – a 4X4 vehicle leased from North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service – when he came a cropper.

Dave McCabe, the brigade’s head of policy and protection, said Mr Hutchinson was driving between Easingwold and Boroughbridge last Thursday when he came across some standing water.

“The water was quite shallow – I think it was only a few inches deep – and other vehicles which weren’t 4X4s were getting through OK and so he drove through,” he said.

“I think it was a reasonable assessment to make, but unfortunately, his vehicle broke down. I think it was a mechanical defect which may have been exacerbated by floodwater. He got on his fire boots and walked to the side of the road, and I understand he called a colleague, who came to pick him up and take him to the meeting.”

He said a garage recovery firm was called in to take the vehicle away, so there was no need for firefighters to assist. He did not know what repairs were needed to the car.

Mr McCabe said the service’s warnings to motorists primarily related to driving through fast-flowing water, such as fords, where there was considerable risk to drivers, but in this case the water had been still standing.

A Fire & Rescue Service spokesman said in September: “There are high levels of standing water on the roads, therefore motorists should avoid driving through any floodwater and only make journeys if absolutely necessary until the weather conditions improve.”

On November 5, the service said it had attended several incidents recently where motorists and their vehicles had become trapped in flood water, and issued tips including: “Make sure you can see the way out before you enter water, and if it is too deep, or too fast moving, don’t risk it. If you can’t tell how deep the water is, back up and find an alternative route.” Similar warnings were issued three days before Mr Hutchinson became stuck.

Asked if Mr Hutchinson was embarrassed by what had happened, Mr McCabe said: “I don’t know how he feels but if it happened to me, I would feel the irony of it.” When told about the incident by The Press, Steve Howley, of the FBU, said: “It’s quite ironic really but does highlight the potential problems of driving through floodwater and anybody, even the chief fire officer, can encounter problems. I’m sure he finds it slightly embarrassing however there was no real harm done, and it is quite amusing.”

Comments (15)

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10:35am Sat 8 Dec 12

Buzz Light-year says...

I don't think it's embarrassing for the guy, it's more embarrassing for BMW.
If I was driving a 4x4 and saw non-4x4s going through I'd reckon my chances were good.
I don't think it's embarrassing for the guy, it's more embarrassing for BMW. If I was driving a 4x4 and saw non-4x4s going through I'd reckon my chances were good. Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

10:50am Sat 8 Dec 12

sterlingman says...

Not so funny who will pick up the repair bill for this fools mistake? Bet it wont be him but us joe public!
Not so funny who will pick up the repair bill for this fools mistake? Bet it wont be him but us joe public! sterlingman
  • Score: 0

11:12am Sat 8 Dec 12

bob the builder says...

Beggars belief, This is what we pay a precept on the council tax for! If he 'needs' a 4x4 for his job get him a Land Rover Defender, a practical vehicle for emergency services not a Chelsea tractor.
Beggars belief, This is what we pay a precept on the council tax for! If he 'needs' a 4x4 for his job get him a Land Rover Defender, a practical vehicle for emergency services not a Chelsea tractor. bob the builder
  • Score: 0

11:19am Sat 8 Dec 12

CHISSY1 says...

"Like bloody hyenas,the man made a stupid mistake,which he will be well aware of,and you bunch of armchair critics have never made mistakes,have you".
"Like bloody hyenas,the man made a stupid mistake,which he will be well aware of,and you bunch of armchair critics have never made mistakes,have you". CHISSY1
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Sat 8 Dec 12

Stevie D says...

I think it was a mechanical defect
Yes, the defect was that it was a BMW X5, which is just a car with big wheels, and is not a proper off-roader.
[quote]I think it was a mechanical defect[/quote]Yes, the defect was that it was a BMW X5, which is just a car with big wheels, and is not a proper off-roader. Stevie D
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Sat 8 Dec 12

Piffadilly-Circus says...

Poor man!

Wonder if the knock sensor got soaked and sent the ecu into shut down without the knock sensor the engine doesnt know when its recieving its spark. the fact that other normal cars got through ok only takes me to the conclusion that he hammerd the X5 through like he had some form of authority to do so.

X5 i believe have atleast 10 inch gap from sump thats bottom of engine(oil pan) to ground. he must of hit the flood at trumendous speeds to cover the bottom half of the block in water. .Most likely would have been perfectly ok had he have been going very slowly, persistantly keeping on very little throttle

most definatly a human error nothing to do with the machine supplied.

thanks, goodbye
Poor man! Wonder if the knock sensor got soaked and sent the ecu into shut down without the knock sensor the engine doesnt know when its recieving its spark. the fact that other normal cars got through ok only takes me to the conclusion that he hammerd the X5 through like he had some form of authority to do so. X5 i believe have atleast 10 inch gap from sump thats bottom of engine(oil pan) to ground. he must of hit the flood at trumendous speeds to cover the bottom half of the block in water. .Most likely would have been perfectly ok had he have been going very slowly, persistantly keeping on very little throttle most definatly a human error nothing to do with the machine supplied. thanks, goodbye Piffadilly-Circus
  • Score: 0

7:39pm Sat 8 Dec 12

redoner says...

He did really well to avoid the ROAD CLOSED sign, doh!
He did really well to avoid the ROAD CLOSED sign, doh! redoner
  • Score: 0

8:32pm Sat 8 Dec 12

DYLANESQ says...

The Chief is hardly setting the best example for the instructions that his department advocates to drivers, is he ? And blaming the vehicle ? How laughable. Duhhhh...what were you doing driving into water, the depth of which you could, more than likely not necessarily assess ?
The Chief is hardly setting the best example for the instructions that his department advocates to drivers, is he ? And blaming the vehicle ? How laughable. Duhhhh...what were you doing driving into water, the depth of which you could, more than likely not necessarily assess ? DYLANESQ
  • Score: 0

8:39pm Sat 8 Dec 12

DYLANESQ says...

Piffadilly-Circus makes a good point when he says 'the fact that other normal cars got through ok only takes me to the conclusion that he hammer(e)d the X5 through like he had some form of authority to do so.'
Piffadilly-Circus makes a good point when he says 'the fact that other normal cars got through ok only takes me to the conclusion that he hammer(e)d the X5 through like he had some form of authority to do so.' DYLANESQ
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Sat 8 Dec 12

Pete the Brickie says...

I have to say I don't know which is worse, the fire service lease BMW X5s for office staff, a person holding such a senior position in the service clearly can't drive it or follow his own advice and then has spare cash to employ a spokesman to blame his vehicle for his stupidity.
I have to say I don't know which is worse, the fire service lease BMW X5s for office staff, a person holding such a senior position in the service clearly can't drive it or follow his own advice and then has spare cash to employ a spokesman to blame his vehicle for his stupidity. Pete the Brickie
  • Score: 0

11:54pm Sat 8 Dec 12

molly1928 says...

Not just BMW X5's, the brigade has also recently obtained a fleet of RANGEROVER EVOQUES !!! These are for middle managers and were obtained after they decided they wanted 4x4's after a couple of bad winters. These vehicles have no firefighting or rescue capability. The brigade managed for years with skoda / volkswagen estates You, the tax paying readers, are subsidising luxury vehicles in these times of austerity. Disgraceful !!!
Not just BMW X5's, the brigade has also recently obtained a fleet of RANGEROVER EVOQUES !!! These are for middle managers and were obtained after they decided they wanted 4x4's after a couple of bad winters. These vehicles have no firefighting or rescue capability. The brigade managed for years with skoda / volkswagen estates You, the tax paying readers, are subsidising luxury vehicles in these times of austerity. Disgraceful !!! molly1928
  • Score: 0

1:02am Sun 9 Dec 12

lowbeam says...

He may be a fool,but this makes us all fools,just found out that the press is owned by an american company..Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,did any one else know this?
He may be a fool,but this makes us all fools,just found out that the press is owned by an american company..Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,did any one else know this? lowbeam
  • Score: 0

7:53am Sun 9 Dec 12

riverdweller444 says...

He did well to find his fire boots.....
He did well to find his fire boots..... riverdweller444
  • Score: 0

10:30pm Sun 9 Dec 12

piaggio1 says...

BMW X5 – a 4X4 vehicle leased from North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service ??

er since when did they become a leasing company??
and now new range rovers??
you are becoming a joke to US taxpayers
BMW X5 – a 4X4 vehicle leased from North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service ?? er since when did they become a leasing company?? and now new range rovers?? you are becoming a joke to US taxpayers piaggio1
  • Score: 0

5:15pm Mon 10 Dec 12

riverdweller444 says...

Not to mention the horrendous CO2 emissions from it. So much for having a green policy. One rule for one and another for the rest methinks!
Not to mention the horrendous CO2 emissions from it. So much for having a green policy. One rule for one and another for the rest methinks! riverdweller444
  • Score: 0

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