News

14-06-19

Firefighters leading the response to flooding

Approximately 40 firefighters have been mobilised to deal with flooding in Lincolnshire, following an estimated two months' worth of rain falling over a two-day period.

Fire and Rescue Services deliver a coordinated national response to incidents such as flooding, which includes the deployment of fire appliances, teams, high volume pumps, Enhanced Logistics Support Teams, wading teams, swift water rescue trained firefighters on powered rescue boats, tactical advisers, and standard fire pumps.

Lincolnshire County Council issued a state of emergency in Wainfleet, near Skegness. Around 100 properties have been evacuated with residents moved to specially-set up rest centres, some rescued by fire service water rescue boats.

This is part of a national response, coordinated by the National Fire Chiefs Council’s National Resilience (NR) arrangements. This means teams can be quickly and effectively mobilised nationally to assist with deploying the most effective equipment, rescue teams and expertise.

It is likely the national response will continue over the weekend, in conjunction with organisations such as the Environment Agency and the Met Office to monitor and evaluate the changing conditions.

Fire services have more than 100 powered rescue boat teams and 36 non-powered rescue boat teams immediately available for deployment.

Asset currently deployed: 

  • Eight High Volume Pumps (HVPs) have been deployed at Gibraltar Point and are pumping at the sluice gates, moving water
  • Lincolnshire is deploying a drone to provide an aerial view and the effectiveness of the HVPs
  • Enhanced Logistical Support is being provided by Nottingham Fire & Rescue Service

In addition, the Environment Agency have 13 large pumps at a nearby location which forms part of the coordinated response, which will assist fire and rescue services’ high-volume pumps.

NFCC is committed to working alongside the police, ambulance service, the military and other partners to ensure the best possible response is delivered to communities when affected by wide area flooding.

Phil Loach, Vice Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, said: “Firefighters are once again leading the response to flooding. The ability of fire services to be able to mobilise our national assets quickly and effectively is an essential part of our national resilience response; we respond quickly when the communities we serve need us.  Incidents of this scale need a coordinated, joined-up approach to ensure we have the right people, assets and equipment in place, while supporting local fire services.

“Already this year we have seen more than 100 wildfires and with the current flooding across the country, this once again demonstrates we need to be resourced to risk and not just demand. It is critical the government funds fire and rescue services properly, to ensure we can continue to provide this response across the country.”

High volume pumps can move up to 7,000 litres of water per minute, while powered boats crewed by swift water rescue trained firefighters and wading teams are essential in helping rescue people and ensuring vital supplies – including medical support - can be delivered.

The National Resilience Assurance Team (NRAT), supported by lead NFCC officers, coordinates the national response, provides vital support to government and supports fire and rescue services with additional assets.

NR also provides invaluable support in response to these nationally significant incidents, working to the National Coordination and Advisory Framework (NCAF), to ensure a flexible response is put in place.

Highly experienced fire and rescue service strategic and tactical advisers support affected areas, which has been consistently demonstrated since the Cumbria floods in 2005.

Fire and Rescue Services also coordinate a national response to wide area flooding on behalf of DEFRA through a well-established and highly effective National Coordination and Advisory Framework (NCAF).

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