Flood suits set to aid fire crews in 999 rescues
EVERY firefighter in Lancashire will be equipped with a special flood suit this winter, it can be revealed.
Bosses at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) agreed to spend ‘hundreds of pounds’ each on the waterproof suits after the county was devastated by flooding last December.
The new gear will mean crews will be better equipped to rescue residents in shallow waters, and be able to work for longer than they would be in their regular kit, which would become cold and wet quickly.
LFRS spokesman John Taylor said: “We recognised, with the wide-spread flooding, that there are situations where people are not stranded in deep water, and could be brought out and rescued by firefighters wading through rather than being in a boat.”
Lancashire was devastated by floods in December as storms Desmond, Eva, and Frank swept the borough. It caused power cuts and scores of homes and businesses to be flooded as the storms hit areas including Croston, St Michaels, Churchtown, Garstang and Lancaster.
Flood defences burst on the River Wyre, leaving more than 100 families out of their homes and children unable to go to school, while Wyre Council officers later removed more than 55 tonnes of water-damaged property.
Just this week, the fire service warned residents living close to the River Wyre’s banks not to wade through flood water after the Environment Agency issued a warning, including in Hambleton and Thornton, while crews were being prepared to help in case the banks were breached.
Mr Taylor said the new suits, which are predominately red but have black trousers and built-in boots, also feature a red helmet.
They will be stored at fire stations across the county unless a flood warning is in place, when they will be placed on engines.
He added: “The firefighters have been doing these rescues and then having to dry out and get fresh kit.
“This enables them to be actively engaged for a longer period of time.”