Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) has signed an agreement with Surf Life Saving GB, Wessex Flood Rescue Unit to work together in the event of flooding and during other water rescues.
Surf Life Saving GB are a team of highly-trained volunteers based across the country, who already support fire crews and other emergency services at incidents, including the rescue of stranded people during the Cumbrian flooding’s in 2015.
DWFRS and Wessex Flood Rescue Unit (WFRU), a registered charity, signed a memorandum of understanding at Poole fire station, in view of the Poole harbour, the second largest natural harbour in the world, which formally sets out how they will work and train together.
Under the agreement, WFRU will support fire crews when called on, operating under their guidance at incidents that could include rescuing residents from flooded homes.
Dorset Area Commander Craig Baker, said: ‘Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is equipped and trained to carry out water rescues and this agreement will give them even more support when they need it. Wessex Flood Rescue have worked with the fire service at previous incidents and I’m pleased they have formalised this agreement to work and train together to further improve public safety.’
David Lane of Surf Life Saving GB, Wessex Flood Rescue Unit, said: ‘Our crews are trained to national standards for search and rescue. Water rescue is part of our skill set and we have specialist equipment and vehicles for this role. This is a service we offer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.’
For more information about how to stay safe in and around the water please visit www.dwfire.org.uk.