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Swift response from the Great Ouse rescue team

Members of Lynn Swift Water Rescue team from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service training on the river Great Ouse in King's Lynn. LtoR - Phil Tinkley, Paul Edwards, Ian Herdman and Clive Denniss.

Members of Lynn Swift Water Rescue team from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service training on the river Great Ouse in King's Lynn. LtoR - Phil Tinkley, Paul Edwards, Ian Herdman and Clive Denniss.

Just weeks after some of their colleagues were drafted in to help tackle the flooding crisis in Berkshire, Lynn fire crews have been practising their skills closer to home.

Members of the swift water rescue team took to the River Great Ouse on Tuesday for their latest training exercise, barely three weeks after Lynn crews spent two days battling the aftermath of the deluge that swamped much of southern England.

Paul Edwards, crew manager for the station’s White Watch, said the session was designed to help the crews practice the skills they need to deal with local emergencies or a major national incident.

But he explained that, although equipment and training has improved in recent years, they often have to go much further afield to get the practice they need.

He said: “We don’t have many fast flowing rivers in Norfolk so we rarely get to train in that class of water.

“We do train on the Ouse where we can do a bit of casualty rescue.”

The station’s four crews all undergo quarterly water rescue training, including an annual refresher course at the Lee Valley Sports Centre in Hertfordshire, which hosted the canoe slalom competitions during the London Olympics in 2012.

The crews also have regular training sessions at the St James swimming pool in Lynn, through an agreement between the service and West Norfolk Council, though they remain on call even when they are in the water.

Mr Edwards said that was the reason why fire engines can often be seen parked outside the pool, as the crews are still on call even when they are in the water.

He added: “There have been a couple of occasions when the guys have been radioed and have jumped out of the pool in their trunks and run back to the engines dripping wet.”

n See a video of the crew in action on our website: www.lynnnews.co.uk

 

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