Cleveland Fire Brigade launches new water rescue unit

Cleveland firefighters are equipped to tackle flooding incidents throughout the UK with the launch of a new water rescue unit.

The fully-fitted support vehicle includes a inflatable boat, 10 and five person rescue sleds, two inflatable walkways, decontamination spray units and first aid, which includes oxygen therapy.

The unit has a capacity to carry out of water rescues in a flood environment for up to four days and be self-sustainable for up to 10 hours a day. It can store food rations to keep a crew of six going for up to 72 hours.

There is also convertible office space for incident command centre and crew welfare.

Alan Brown, Flood Tactical Advisor, Cleveland Fire Brigade, said, “The unit is equipped to deal with any type of flooding event. It can be utilised to rescue people from homes in flooded streets and communities, bring in supplies and support other emergency services in all aspects of water rescue as seen in recent years in Cleveland and across the country in York Cumbria, Somerset and Berkshire. Crews are equipped to assist in rescues from both ice and mud. It has already been operational in recent rescues on the River Tees.”

The new unit is based at Thornaby station. Cleveland Fire Brigade has a rescue craft permanently moored at the Tees Barrage, which provides rapid response to reports of incidents on the river, both upstream and downstream.