Firefighters get new flood equipment

SUFFOLK firefighters have assured the public they are ready to handle a flood disaster on the scale of those in Gloucestershire and Yorkshire. The re-assurance came as they tested out new water rescue equipment.

SUFFOLK firefighters have assured the public they are ready to handle a flood disaster on the scale of those in Gloucestershire and Yorkshire.

The re-assurance came as they tested out new water rescue equipment.

A Suffolk fire and rescue team took to Alton Water at Holbrook to test out £175,000 of equipment which will enable them to carry out inland water rescues and help fight the effects of mass flooding.

The crews put on a series of demonstrations to councillors, showing how they can pump out flood waters and rescue people.


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Suffolk will now have three specialist water rescue teams, based in Bury St. Edmunds, Lowestoft and Ipswich.

Ipswich is the only crew yet to undergo the three day intensive training course, which it will complete in October.

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Lee Howell, Suffolk's chief fire officer, said the equipment was “as good as it gets” and the extra training would keep the service in the best possible shape to save people in Suffolk.

Joanna Spicer, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for public protection, said: “I think the equipment is clearly top quality but what is really important is the training they have been getting. All the equipment in the world is useless unless you can use it.

“This is a very big step and I am just sorry we were not ready a month ago to help out in Yorkshire, but we're ready now.”

Eddie Meelan, assistant chief fire officer, added: “We are ready to deal with water-related incidents nationally.”

The Salvation Army, which was helping with the relief in Yorkshire, were on hand to provide hot drinks and snacks.

N Have you reason to be grateful to the fire service? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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