Cash ‘floods’ in for rescue teams

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EMERGENCY response teams from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue will be better prepared to deal with flooding, thanks to a £250,000 grant from Defra.

Extra boats, equipment and training are to be provided to boost the response from teams based in Spalding, Bourne, Louth and Lincoln.

The Spalding team currently have one flood rescue powerboat but the new funding will allow the service to increase that number to ten.

These boats will be capable of technical water rescue, search operations in a water environment, powerboat operations, in-water operations and flood response.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue group manager Mark Baxter said: “This money will greatly enhance Lincolnshire’s ability to respond to any major flooding event and give the public the best possible protection in such an emergency by providing boats, maintenance, equipment and training for the next five years.”

The Environment Agency’s emergency response teams were put to the test in a mock incident in Spalding yesterday.

Exercise Watermark saw a team working at Marsh Road Sluice, on Roman Bank, to excavate material from a pit adjacent to the river. The material was used to repair a damaged flood bank. Their aim was to repair the bank before the extreme tide.

The team were also asked to react to an oil spill incident by putting a pollution prevention boom across the river just upstream of the sluice.

Exercises were also taking place in Skegness.

John Ryland, operations delivery technical support team leader, said: “The exercises in Skegness and Spalding will complement the national exercise and test staff to ensure they can help reduce the risk of flooding to properties even when faced with a worst-case scenario.”