Eighteen months after a tidal surge devastated coastal communities, the Eastern Daily Press has paid thanks to the West Norfolk fire crews who helped save lives across the region.

More than 70 firefighters were presented with commemorative pins by EDP editor-in-chief Nigel Pickover and Norfolk chief fire officer Nigel Williams.

The crews from King’s Lynn, Wells, Hunstanton, West Walton, Sandringham, Heacham, Downham Market and Terrington were all involved in the emergency response to the tidal surge on the evening of December 5, 2013.

During the ceremony, at King’s Lynn North fire station, Mr Williams, praised the crews who “stepped up to the mark” when the flood surge bore down.

Mr Williams, gold commander as the crisis unfolded, told crews that counterparts in Humberside and Lincolnshire had called him to say the surge had hit their counties hard and Norfolk was next.

“What you did that night was outstanding – you knew not what was coming but you stood tall to a man and a woman. I’m so proud of what you did for this brigade and the people of Norfolk – it was in the traditions of one of the best fire services in Britain.”

He presented pins to more than 70 firefighters with Mr Pickover.

“When the flood surge struck west Norfolk was hit first – and hard,” said Mr Pickover.

Pictured above, fire crews of West Norfolk were presented with their commemorative flood pins by EDP Editor Nigel Pickover at King’s Lynn Fire Station.