Water rescue cash boost for Calderdale firefighters

500,000 has been invested in water water rescue equipment by the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
500,000 has been invested in water water rescue equipment by the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

New power boats, flood response vehicles and protective equipment have been deployed in Calderdale to carry out rescues in the event of a repeat of the Boxing Day floods of 2015.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service says the investment will benefit the county the next time there is widespread flooding, as well as being a national asset to be used elsewhere.

Halifax MP Holly Lynch

Halifax MP Holly Lynch

The Boxing Day floods of 2015 caused huge damage around the region and tested the fire service with 92 flood related incidents and 117 rescues carried out.

The total spend, worth £550,000, include new VW Transporter vans with powered boats and trailers, high volume pump support vehicles, rescue sleds, radio equipment and ‘enhanced water rescue training’.

Halifax MP Holly Lynch attended Halifax Sailing Club with Chief Fire Officer John Roberts and Chair of the Fire Authority, Councillor Judith Hughes, to see the equipment in action.

"As the Shadow Floods Minister, I welcome this important investment which will ensure that our communities are better protected against future flooding. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue were instrumental in delivering the rescue and clean-up operations during the 2015 Boxing Day Floods and this new range of equipment will enable them to respond to a wider range of incidents," said Ms Lynch.

"I will be working in Westminster to ensure other fire and rescue services are similarly equipped.”

Rastrick Fire Station will receive a new VW Transporter van with powered boat and trailer and VW Crafter support vehicle.

Todmorden Fire Station will see the conversion of the wildfire unit to also carry flood rescue equipment, as well as enhanced water rescue training for all crews based here.

Councillor Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said: “The Council and other organisations continue to work together to be as prepared as possible for any future flooding.

"The new equipment is a great boost and will help improve Calderdale’s ability to respond to incidents."

Coun Hughes said: “The Fire Service has undertaken a considerable amount of work since the 2015 floods to review its flood response capability and work with partners to carry out training exercises with our counterparts in local authority emergency planning teams.”