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Training boost for flood rescue team
MALTON is one of five fire stations in North Yorkshire whose firefighters have been given special training to rescue people from flood waters using equipment which could be used anywhere in the whole country.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has completed a three-year water rescue strategy, which involved significant investment in swift-water rescue capabilities.
All fire stations now have water rescue skills which means they can provide a more skilled response during flooding incidents.
But five fire stations, including Malton, have crews trained to an even higher standard which allows them to perform swift-water rescues and enter water and perform rescues from unstable surfaces.
Four stations have swift-water rescue boats and may be called to water rescue incidents anywhere in the county. The service has also bought a boat for the fifth station in Selby which will be delivered in the next few months.
A spokesman said: “We are also in the process of issuing new firekit (personal protective equipment) to our all staff.
“The ‘PBI gold firefighting personal protective equipment’ will be worn by all fire crews and officers from the middle of February, and is part of an on-going investment in staff safety.”
The fire service has also improved the first aid provision of fire crews through the introduction of the Immediate Emergency Care programme in partnership with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS).
This enhanced training has ensured that crews have access to the latest equipment as recommended by YAS.
It is also now in the process of purchasing automated external defibrillators which will be carried by all fire engines in North Yorkshire by 2014. This means it will be able to provide a better first aid response to causalities when firefighters attend incidents, through the crews’ improved knowledge of first aid and through the use of defibrillators, as well as ensuring an increased level of protection for staff.
Dave McCabe, area manager and head of policy and protection, said: “These investments show our continued dedication to offer the best possible service to members of the public throughout North Yorkshire and the City of York.
“The purchase of defibrillators and the improved first aid training provided to fire crews throughout the county is sure to have a positive impact on casualities at incidents we attend.
“Our significant investment in water rescue training and equipment proved their worth during the severe flooding that hit the county last year and I’m sure they will continue to do so in years to come.”