1m Government Funding to Support Specialist Rescue Teams
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is set to receive just over £1m funding to help support rescue teams that can deal with major incidents such as extreme weather, building collapses or terrorism.
The Government grant will help the Service further improve its Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), mass decontamination and pumping capabilities.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: “Over the last few years we have considerably improved our ability to deal with events resulting from either terrorist attacks or natural disaster. Support provided to Government over recent years has paid dividends and has put HWFRS at the forefront of this development. “
ACFO Hall has now been appointed to chair the UK’s ‘National Resilience Board’ from the end of March.
ACFO Hall said: “Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority have helped develop some of the most advanced responses to natural and terrorist disaster in the World and are proud to be asked to lead on such a prestigious committee. When not on deployment around the UK, the people of the two counties benefit from some of the best equipment and trained firefighters possible to respond to local disasters. Of course, the provision of over a million pounds to maintain this service is very welcome and allows us to develop further excellence at no cost to our local council tax payers.”
The extra funding, amounting to £1,043,001, helps HWFRS to provide:
- Two Urban Search and Rescue teams based at a new, state of the art facility in Droitwich
- A search dog and handler
- Two mass decontamination units based at fire stations in Hereford and Droitwich
- Enhanced command facilities incorporating advanced satellite communications within Herefordshire
- High volume pumping vehicles based at Kidderminster (as proved so useful during the floods of 2007).
This is one of the largest fleets of its kind outside London. The tragic events in Haiti sadly serve as a reminder of the importance of this kind of capability for dealing with major incidents. Earlier this month, HWFRS technicians assisted in the rescue operation following the gas explosion in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.”
Issued by Samantha Jones, Media and Communications Manager on 01905 368409.
Please call this number if you wish to arrange an interview with ACFO Jon Hall.