Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service new boat in useStaffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) are the first service in the country to take advantage of a new, larger training boat.

The boat, purchased from Excel boats, is a 5.3metre rigid inflatable with a 40hp two-stroke motor and features powerful navigation lights. The boat will be used by the Service’s training department to complete boat operation training and refresher courses for existing water rescue trained firefighters.

The boat will be used alongside the existing 3.9metre boat which is currently used for both training and attending water rescues. The new boat can accommodate more people so will allow more firefighters to be trained at a time, as well as carrying all the equipment needed to carry out a water rescue.

Matt Jenkinson, SFRS trainer, said: “Although it is very good for its purpose, the existing boat we use for training isn’t very big and it can be called away at any time to attend emergency incidents.

“The new boat will allow us to carry out a much more effective training programme without the worry of the boat being needed elsewhere. It will also mean that we can run courses for more firefighters at a time as it can carry more people.

“This is a really exciting addition to our training equipment and it will be really beneficial in preparing firefighters for the varied water rescue situations they may be faced with in real life.”