Fire service gets special new training

The search and rescue helicopter.
The search and rescue helicopter.

Firefighters from the county have taken part in training exercises ahead of new search and rescue arrangements being introduced this year.

Northumberland’s Fire and Rescue Servimce, working alongside the Coastguard, will respond to future incidents on and around Holy Island under a new national framework using a helicopter fitted with the latest search and rescue technology.

The search and rescue (SAR) helicopter is one of a range of options available when an incident occurs on Holy Island and the causeway is not usable.

Officers completed the sessions to familiarise themselves with the new helicopter, took part in safety training and carried out a run-through of a mock operation.

For 37 years, the coastal search and rescue response in Northumberland was managed and delivered by RAF Boulmer’s two Sea King helicopter, however due to the changes, the provision for coastal search and rescue operations in the area will be based in Humberside and from Prestwick in Ayr.

Alex Bennett, chief fire officer at NFRS, said: “We will continue to work with all involved to ensure there is a robust protocol in place when search and rescue operations are required on Holy Island.”