HFRS EPUA new rapid response vehicle that has just been acquired by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has been mobilised for the first time as part of the response to the flooding in the county.

The EPU, which is based at Romsey, was deployed to Romsey and Ringwood over the weekend as booms were laid to contain or divert floodwater following further adverse weather on Friday night.

The specially-equipped VW Crafter is one of two such vehicles acquired in collaboration with the Environment Agency.

By working in close partnership with the Environment Agency, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is aiming to improve their effectiveness and efficiency when responding to emergencies, with the desire to also help prevent serious pollution.

The blue light vehicles are badged in the distinctive fire service red livery and also carry the Environment Agency logo.

Andy Bower, Area Manager, said: “This was an opportune moment to be able to use the new EPU and it was good for our crews to be able to get the vehicle out into active service to help with all of the work we have been carrying out to support local communities with flooding.

“We will continue to support vulnerable communities and those in need during the on-going extreme weather. We will prioritise resources where life is at risk and to work with our partners to safeguard critical infrastructure, community assets and saveable property.”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will continue to work with its partners from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum through the county’s Response Working Group running from Hampshire Constabulary’s Netley base.