Firefighters from Crescent Link Fire Station recently underwent extensive training in enhanced flood rescue techniques.
The 52 firefighters did so as the Fire Service restructures in order to offer rescue missions for those trapped by flooding. The local firefighters will provide a 24/7 emergency response to serious flooding incidents across Western Area Command and beyond.
The resource will be operational from Monday April 1, and will be based at Crescent Link Fire Station.
The Fire Service now have a statutory responsibility in relation to serious flooding incidents and their new expertise will enhance previous flooding response capability in order to meet that obligation.
Chris Kerr, Chief Fire Officer, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS), explained: “The Western Area Command Enhanced Flood Response capability will be used not only for incidents in the North West region but can be deployed elsewhere in Northern Ireland supported by and in support of our Specialist Rescue Team, who are based from Central Fire Station in Belfast and who also have an enhanced flood rescue capability. “
Trevor Ferguson, Western Area Commander Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Firefighters from Crescent Link Fire Station will play a crucial part in our operational response to flooding incidents.
“They have been provided with additional equipment, personal protection equipment and have taken part in extensive training.
“We recognise the valiant and invaluable work that our colleagues in Foyle Search and Rescue do and we will continue to work in partnership with them during flooding and water related emergency incidents.
“In the coming year we will be arranging a series of joint training exercises to test our joint operational response to incidents in this area.”