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Western Power Distribution Takes to the Water in Aid of Response to Floods

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This article has been submitted by Western Power Distribution.

A nine-strong team from our Boston depot have taken to the water in a bid to strengthen the company’s emergency response to floods.

All nine have gained the Rescue 3 Europe standard as both Swiftwater Rescue Technicians and Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Boat Operators.

The qualifications mean that in the event of a flood our team can carry out vital tasks including safety inspections and network switching without having to rely on the emergency services.

Boston Area Planner Stuart Holland said:

“The first part of our training involved learning how to read fast-flowing water and techniques to rescue ourselves; this included having to rescue one another from fast-flowing rivers and other turbulent waters.

“The second part of the training was about learning how to handle a boat in both swift moving and still water.

“To keep our certification we are required to carry out training sessions bi-annually, so residents may see us out and about on local waterways.”

In addition, we have invested in water rescue boats, a rescue sled and a SupaCat amphibious craft. We also have a number of pump tender units (ex-fire engines) stationed around our distribution area and have carried out flood wall protection at major substations and raised at-risk secondary substations to prevent water ingress.