“I guess one of the biggest problems we in the EA face is respect,” bitterly mutters Ged Trowel, chief of Wivenhoe’s Environment Agency Emergency Response Division, “or should that be lack of it…
“People should regard us as the fourth emergency service – you know, ambulance, firemen and life guards then us. Then I spose you’ve got the police and that lollipop lady vying for fifth spot. But the tragedy is that no one really gives a second’s thought to all the good stuff we do. You think it’s easy sitting all day in my office watching and waiting in case something happens to the environment?”
Ged has been based at Wivenhoe’s riverside EA office now for 45 years and in that time the floodgates have been closed just once after he accidentally set them off while trying to locate a Ritz biscuit from down the back of the control panel.
Nothing of any incident has ever happened in all that time and there have been no funny stories for Ged to tell friends and family – not that he has either…
“There was that time in 2003 when a swan got caught up in a pair of fishnet stockings. I was just about to press the emergency button and get changed into my latex before jumping into my speed boat, when I realised that it was on Rowhedge’s side of the river and so out of my jurisdiction.”
Unfortunately for the swan, Rowhedge EA was closed down in 1942 and it drowned a slow and painful death.
But now things are looking up as David Cameraman’s new can-do government has been pumping much-needed funds into important services like the EA.
“It’s amazing,” exclaims Ged. “We’ve now got a flying iron man scouring the skies with the last ever super bear for holes in the ozone layer. There’s an American bloke with a shield to help endangered species and to stop the melting of Wivenhoe’s ice caps. We’ve got the god of thunder, just because thunder is part of the environment, innit? And there’s the guy off the sweet corn tin to keep pollution at bay. I guess I’m most proud of the new dog poo monitor. I’m so impressed by her work that I’ve had a special tight leather uniform made for her. Equal opportunities and all that, eh? I mean, just look at her environment….”