Surrey Fire and Rescue Service has signed an agreement with Surrey Search & Rescue to work together in the event of flooding and during other water rescues.
Surrey Search & Rescue (SurSAR) is a team of highly-trained volunteers who already support fire crews and other emergency services at incidents when called on to do so. They worked alongside firefighters to rescue stranded people during the floods in February 2014, as part of an operation codenamed Franklin.
Now the fire service and SurSAR, a registered charity, have signed a memorandum of understanding which formally sets out how they will work and train together.
Under the agreement, SurSAR will support fire crews when called on, operating under their guidance. Incidents could include rescuing residents from flooded homes.
Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Associate for Community Safety Services, said: ‘The fire service is equipped and trained to carry out water rescues and this agreement will give them even more support when they request it.
‘Surrey Search and Rescue has worked with the fire service at several previous incidents and I’m pleased they have formalised this agreement to work and train together to further improve people’s safety.’
James Rossell, Head of Water Rescue at SurSAR, said: ‘Our crews are trained to national standards for search and rescue. Water rescue is part of our skill set and we have specialist equipment and vehicles for this role. This is a service we offer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.’