Storm Babet: WMFS deploys water rescue support to Derbyshire and Lincolnshire

Specialists will assist coordinated local operations to rescue and provide support to people affected by flooding

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Published on 21 October 2023

A West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) specialist water rescue team has been deployed to Derbyshire, where a major incident has been declared because of county-wide flooding.

The six-strong team and a support officer – all members of our Technical Rescue Unit – arrived in the Buxton area late on Friday night (20 Oct), together with a boat and specialist water rescue equipment.

In addition, a WMFS officer has been deployed to Lincolnshire. In his role as a national flood tactical advisor, he will help to coordinate rescue efforts in the Skegness area.

The requests for support were made under national resilience arrangements in the wake of Storm Babet.

Most roads in Derbyshire are affected by flooding, with many closed. A major incident has been declared by all of the county’s councils and emergency services, who have warned people not to travel unless essential.

The West Midlands team will support coordinated local operations to rescue and provide support to people affected by flooding.

Wayne Brown, WMFS Chief Fire Officer, said: “Floodwater can be extremely dangerous. It has a devastating impact on communities.

“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by Storm Babet, including the families of three people who have died in Scotland and Shropshire.

“The team we have sent to assist Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service comprises highly-skilled water rescue technicians. They will, I am sure, make a difference in such challenging circumstances.

“Several of our water rescue specialists remain in the West Midlands and are ready as ever to respond to our communities should they be needed.”

A close up of the word 'rescue' on the back of a firefighter wearing water rescue kit in a boat