the whole of Wales, firefighters were called to almost 2000 flooding and water
related incidents over the last three years.
Today, Monday 16/04/2018,
saw the three fire and rescue services in Wales launching new equipment funded
by the Welsh Government to support crews at flooding and water rescues.
is an issue of increasing public concern and whilst working to mitigate the
risk of flooding it is important to be ready to respond when it materialises.
April last year, the Welsh Government introduced a new duty on fire and rescue
services to respond to flooding and water rescue emergencies, with £1.8m
funding provided over two years to meet the new duty.
part of this, 16 inflatable powerboats have been purchased and delivered to
locations across Wales.
rescue personal protective equipment (PPE) has also been procured to refresh
the current issue in all three services, which in some cases has been in
operation since 2004.
capital funding from the Welsh Government has also enabled North Wales Fire and
Rescue Service to procure a new High Volume Pump (HVP) which will provide
regional and national resilience.
addition, the financial commitment has provided the opportunity for Mid and
West Wales Fire and Rescue Service to procure six new water incident units
which will also provide support to local, regional and national incidents.
Jones, Head of Technical Support for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“This Welsh Government funding has enabled us to invest in the highest
specification of equipment which will benefit the Welsh flood response.
procurement process for the new equipment required collaboration between the
three fire and rescue services in Wales and brought together experts not only
from within the services, but also other partner agencies such as the RNLI, who
have relevant skills and knowledge.
powerboat trial was a good example of how procurement was guided by end user
engagement. As a result, our new powerboats prioritise firefighter safety; they
will offer better performance and resilience at large flooding events and
improved and safer boat handling, with reduced maintenance. They also take into
account environmental considerations and are a more robust resilient vessel to
future proof the Welsh response to flooding incidents.
Volume Pumps (HVPs) have enhanced the capabilities for the fire and rescue
services nationally, regionally and locally, mitigating the effects of flooding
as evidenced in incidents across Wales and the rest of the UK.
new HVP is compatible with the current HVPs in the rest of the UK to
ensure consistency in approach for operational and training purposes, as well
as for interoperability at regional and national events.
all this change comes improved public safety when responding to calls for
new equipment will improve the capabilities and safety of personnel, giving us
the best resources to help us protect the communities of Wales.”
Station Manager Carwyn Thomas, Research &
Development Officer for Mid
and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As the role of the Fire and Rescue Service
continues to evolve, we must provide our firefighters with the very best
equipment to protect them when they are called upon to protect you.
“In the last three years, MAWWFRS have attended over
180 water related incidents where persons have been rescued.
“All of our swift water rescue teams will be
equipped to respond to water rescue incidents, using the new rescue boats, by
May 2018 along with our new Flood and Water Rescue Units, which will transport
the new power boats to and from incidents.”
Jan Bushell, Station Manager Operational Appliances
and Equipment Team and project lead for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service,
“The extensive, end user driven trials involving all
three Fire and Rescue Services in Wales has ensured the best performing
appliances, equipment and PPE have been selected; enabling welsh firefighters
to respond to water rescue incidents as safely and effectively as possible.
“The successful collaboration between the three
Services in Wales is an excellent example of how combining resources can result
in improved operational response and enhanced firefighter safety while still
ensuring best value.”
Secretary for Local Government and Public Services Alun Davies said: “We
provided this investment to ensure our fire services can continue to evolve and
respond to threats such as flooding. I’m pleased to see that the services have
collaborated to obtain value for money and to ensure our dedicated firefighters
have the best possible equipment to protect our communities.”