Fire service receives funding for new boat

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SOUTH Yorkshire is to get a new water rescue boat to use if the region is hit by floods again.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs has awarded the fire service £20,000 to buy the boat and train staff to deal with local flood emergencies.

Firefighters worked around the clock in June 2007 when unprecedented heavy rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks - flooding huge swathes of South Yorkshire.

They helped rescue trapped residents from their flooded homes and workers from their offices and played a vital part in helping to prevent Ulley Dam from bursting.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is one of 15 organisations to have received a share of £820,000 made available for dealing with floods.

Assistant chief fire officer Mark Shaw, from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: “We have already made significant improvements to our water rescue capabilities since the South Yorkshire floods of 2007, and this grant will help us further enhance our equipment and levels of firefighter training, allowing us to respond to emergencies nationally.”

Announcing the new funding, 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.

“The grants will help to pay for vital flood rescue training and assets such as rescue boats that will be readily available wherever they are needed.”

All the 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.