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Flood rescue

Last updated 28th July, 2015

The floods in summer 2007 aggressively tested flood rescue capability across England. Sir Michael Pitt’s review praised the role of many organisations carrying out flood rescue, including the fire and rescue service (FRS), the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the armed forces. Evidence submitted to his review also highlighted the valuable role of other voluntary search and rescue organisations such as Rapid UK, Severn Area Rescue Association and Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue.

Despite recent improvements in capability, evidence also showed that in the event of another wide-area flooding emergency, those responding and wanting to help in an emergency flood rescue situation would not necessarily have the right resources or training to respond safely.

The Pitt Review thus concluded that a national framework (concept of operations) was required, establishing standards for typing and accreditation of rescue teams and setting standards for equipment and training. This would facilitate different local capabilities to be ‘plugged’ seamlessly into a regional or national response during wide area flooding. This concept of operations would also facilitate the accreditation and incorporation of volunteers, thereby making their engagement easier.

Flood rescue concept of operations

The flood rescue concept of operations has the following roles. It will:

  • Ensure the best use of available resources in order to provide capability in the most efficient and effective manner
  • Provide the basis for defining the requirements of all resources being procured by the programme and ensuring that what is supplied meets the capability needed
  • Provide clarity on co-ordination of all search and rescue activity during severe flooding
  • Provide a scalable approach which can incorporate existing and expanded asset base
  • Inform the safe and efficient incorporation of accredited local resources, including those provided on a voluntary basis
  • Inform the development of flood rescue training strategy
  • Serve as a source of reference and basis for long-term planning

The flood rescue concept of operations will provide the basis for a set of planning assumptions regarding:

  • The type and quantities of equipment required according to team type
  • How and to whom that equipment is allocated and located according to team type
  • Training required to operate the equipment in each organisation.

For any flooding emergency in Derbyshire only teams currently listed on the flood rescue national asset register would be used for planned and organised emergency flood rescue operations.

For further information on flood rescue please refer to the Flood Rescue Concept of Operations.

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