15 Fire & Rescue Services now mobilised for East coast surge

As a result of the east coast surge, 15 Fire and Rescue Services have been mobilised to assist as bad weather continues across the UK. The high tides are expected later today.

Mobilisation has currently taking place in the following areas: Lincolnshire (Skegness and Louth); Norfolk; Suffolk and Humberside.

The storm surge threatens to put thousands of homes at risk and severe flood warnings are in place along the eastern coat of England.

The Environment Agency has put its highest possible alert out for coastal areas of Norfolk and Suffolk. Mire than 80 flood warnings and 80 flood alerts are in place.

According to the EA, high tides – due to spring tides and a tidal surge – combined with gale force winds will cause “large waves and sea spray resulting in potential damage to flood defences and flooding of property”.

Fire and rescue service and other National Resilience assets have been deployed to help protect the public threatened by the tidal surge.

This is organised through CFOA and National Co-ordination and Advisory Framework (NCAF).

Fire and Rescue Services currently deployed include: Surrey; Bedfordshire; London Fire Brigade; Hertfordshire; Northamptonshire; Herford & Worcester; West Midlands; Nottinghamshire; Oxford; Cumbria; South Wales; Warwickshire; Nottinghamshire; Derbyshire and South Yorkshire.

Assets currently deployed include FRS boats, non FRS boats, tactical advisers, flood rescue teams, high volume pumps and command units.

The break down is as follows:

  • Water rescue boat team (Type B powered boats): 10 (not all FRS assets)
  • Enhanced Logistical Support  teams: 2
  • High Volume pumps: 7
  • High Volume Pump Tactical Advisors: 2
  • Flood rescue Tactical Advisers: 9


The Fire and Rescue Service makes the largest contribution to the national flood response capability, with more than 100 powered rescue boat teams and 36 non-powered rescue boat teams immediately available for deployment. CFOA is committed to working alongside the police, ambulance service, the military and other partners to ensure the best possible response is delivered to communities when affected by wide area flooding.

During Storm Desmond Christmas 2015  and Storm Gertrude at the beginning of 2016, Fire and Rescue Services from across the UK worked tirelessly to assist.

This was part of a national response, coordinated by CFOA’s national resilience arrangements. This means teams can be quickly mobilised nationally to assist with equipment, rescue teams and expertise.

Fire and Rescue Services across the UK worked together to deliver a co-ordinated response to the widespread flooding with high volume pumps and other specialist equipment being mobilised, alongside personnel trained to deal with the flooding caused by the severe weather.

This included the deployment of fire appliances, teams, high volume pumps, wading teams, swift water rescue trained firefighters on powered rescue boats, tactical advisers, logistical support and standard fire pumps.

  • High volume pumps are capable of moving up to 7,000 litres of water per minute, while powered boats crewed by swift water rescue trained firefighters and wading teams are essential in helping to rescue people and ensuring vital supplies can be delivered.
  • These numbers are supplemented by almost every fire appliance in the UK; with firefighters trained and equipped to provide as a minimum an initial rescue capability. This response can be sustained over an extended period of time.
  • The National Resilience Assurance Team (NRAT), supported by lead CFOA officers, coordinates the national response and provides vital support to government
  • CFOA believes the way forward in delivering an efficient, resilient and cost effective national response to major flooding events should be based on a clear statement of duties, with Fire and Rescue Services playing a leading role. In addition it is critical that the government continues to properly and fully fund National Resilience Assets to ensure they are always available to emergencies such as this
  • The Fire and Rescue Service also coordinates a national response to wide area flooding on behalf of DEFRA through a well-established and highly effective National Coordination and Advisory Framework

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