Lowestoft fire crews receive cash for flooding emergencies
FIREFIGHTERS in Lowestoft are to receive special equipment and training to help them deal with flood emergencies thanks to a �73,000 of government funding.
The cash – made up of two grants awarded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) – will be used to buy four boats as well as support equipment.
They will be added to Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service's three boats currently in action with water rescue teams in Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich and additional trained firefighters in Haverhill, Newmarket and Felixstowe.
Andy Fry, Suffolk's chief fire officer, welcomed the grant. He said the extra boats would boost the brigade's flood response ability.
He said: 'Suffolk's successful bid is a major boost for fire and rescue services in the county.
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'By doubling the number of boats we have available, we can increase our ability to deal with, and protect people from, local flooding incidents.
'It also means that when a national incident occurs and resources such as these are called upon, Suffolk isn't left without the necessary equipment to protect its own residents. This is great news for Suffolk.'
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Colin Spence, the county council's portfolio holder for public protection, added: 'As a coastal county with a number of waterways running through Suffolk, it's important that we have well-trained, well-equipped water rescue teams available 24/7.
'We have had such teams in the county for some time and these additional resources will enable us to increase their number.'
The grants are part of the government's �2.7m Flood Rescue Grant Scheme to improve flood response in England and Wales.
All equipment bought with the Defra funding will be added to the National Asset Register of flood rescue resources that emergency services across the country can call upon in the event of a major flood.
Environment minister Richard Benyon said: 'In the event of a large-scale flood, it is important that we can call upon manpower and equipment from a wide range of emergency services and voluntary groups.
'Through this scheme we have already provided 35 grants to local flood rescue teams to improve their flood rescue capabilities. I am pleased that today we have been able to announce funding for a further 16 organisations to buy vital flood rescue equipment helping to improve England's flood response.'