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of the British Broadcasting Corporation



Friday, 23 November 2007, 13:59 GMT
Vehicle tackles floods and fires

Firefighters in Cumbria are to take delivery of a specialist vehicle to help tackle major fires and floods.

An additional heavy transport vehicle, which can carry the county's special high volume pump and wide-gauge hose will be based in Kendal.

The town already has one heavy vehicle, and a second will enable equipment to be deployed more quickly.

The pump, which weighs the same as six family cars, is used to pump water on to major fires or from flooded areas.

National resource

Kendal's existing transport vehicle and pump were used earlier this year to protect a power station threatened by flooding in Gloucestershire.

The extra vehicle is part of a contingent of 48 with a total value of £7m which the government is distributing to fire and rescue services across England and Wales.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service's assistant chief fire officer, Alan Rawsthorne, said: "The arrival of this additional specialist vehicle will enable us to respond more quickly to large-scale incidents.

"As we saw earlier this year during the East Midlands floods, the equipment also forms part of an important strategic national resource which other parts of the country can call upon."