Boat rescue team from Northamptonshire helps those left devastated by floods

Picture: @WarrenEllison01  "The aftermath in Hebden this morning. @northantsfire thoughts are with those effected #hebdenbridge #hebdenfloods "
Picture: @WarrenEllison01 "The aftermath in Hebden this morning. @northantsfire thoughts are with those effected #hebdenbridge #hebdenfloods "

A specialist boat rescue team from Northamptonshire is continuing to offer flood rescue support in some of the worst hit areas in northern England.

Since Boxing Day, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service’s (NFRS) water rescue experts have been deployed to multiple locations in Yorkshire to assist residents in areas where support was most needed.

Officers from NFRS have so far been sent to areas including Hebden Bridge, Leeds, Halifax and York, where they have been dealing with situations which were seen to pose a potential risk to life. They have also been working to help evacuate people from their homes.

Group manager Warren Ellison, who is currently in York co-ordinating work by boat rescue teams, said: “We have been deploying crews into York since Sunday. We have been working closely with West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service as a team of two boats and we have also been working with Northumbria Fire and Rescue Service.

“Most of the people living in areas affected by floods have now either been evacuated or have decided to stay put. Our role is currently to support people who are staying where they are. We are visiting people and evacuating people who decide they don’t want to be there anymore.

“We are doing welfare visits to make sure people have the medication and food they need and we are encouraging people to leave their houses.”

A new team of NFRS crew members travelled to Yorkshire yesterday to take over from the original team deployed on December 26.

With the forecast of more rain to come in the north of England, the specialist NFRS search and rescue boat crew will be remaining in position for the moment to help assist with any further incidents as they arise.

Area manager Mark Ainge said: “Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service are very proud of our firefighters and the support they have provided to the communities of West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. Our firefighters are well trained and professional specialist teams. These firefighters have committed to support this deployment on rest days and many have curtailed their family gatherings and Christmas celebrations to make themselves available to support this national deployment and help communities in other counties.”

This operation follows on from NFRS’s deployment to Cumbria earlier this month, where officers also helped with flood rescue activities.