New boats will help Peterborough fire and rescue crews save lives on the water

New lifesaving rescue boats will enable firefighters to respond quicker to water incidents.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 2:12 pm

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue crews were out on Orton Mere yesterday (Tuesday) training to use the new kit.

Equipped with the latest technology, the new boats, which will replace the old equipment, have a more powerful engine and inflate in under a minute compared to the three to four minutes the old boats took. This means that crews can get the boats off the rescue vehicle, into the water and reach the casualty in a significantly faster time.

Group Commander, Jamie Johnson, who heads the department responsible for bringing new equipment into the Service, said: “People often know that we deal with fires and road traffic accidents but don’t always appreciate that we carry out water rescues too.

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Dogsthorpe firefighters training in their new inflatable rescue craft at Orton Mere. EMN-200128-161333009

“Over the last 10 years we’ve attended 179 water related incidents and rescued 162 people from water. Our boat crews undertake a three day rigorous training course to ensure they are skilled in water rescue techniques for different in-water situations. This could be to rescue people who have fallen in, got into trouble whilst swimming or people whose cars have ended up in water. Every second counts when it comes to water rescues where someone’s life is in danger. That’s why it’s important that we regularly review our equipment and upgrade older equipment to ensure our crews have the most up to date technology to enable them to put their skills into action as quickly as possible.”

Two of the new boats will be put on the rescue vehicles in Peterborough and Cambridge. The third will be used for training, which will ensure the other two boats are always available.

Crews will be out on the local waterways over the next few weeks familiarising themselves with the new equipment and carrying out training exercises to practise using them. Once all crews are trained, the new boats will become fully operational and replace the current ones.

Dogsthorpe firefighters training in their new inflatable rescue craft at Orton Mere. EMN-200128-161224009
Dogsthorpe firefighters training in their new inflatable rescue craft at Orton Mere. EMN-200128-161430009
Dogsthorpe firefighters training in their new inflatable rescue craft at Orton Mere. EMN-200128-161452009