WEST Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) will showcase part of a new £550,000 investment in vehicles and equipment designed to deal with major flooding incidents.

The new power boats, vans, trailers, rescue sleds, and protective kit will be unveiled during a water rescue demonstration at Halifax Sailing Club tomorrow, with Halifax MP Holly Lynch - the Shadow Floods Minister - set to play the role of a casualty.

Funding for the flood response equipment has come from the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority (WYFRA), aimed at improving the brigade’s ability to respond to widespread flooding across the county, such as the Boxing Day floods of 2015 when crews carried out 117 separate water rescues.

It is hoped that the new boats could also prove to be a national asset used by WYFRS’ swift water rescue crews if deployed to other areas of the country.

Chief fire officer John Roberts said: “WYFRS is delighted to receive this substantial investment in flood response boats, supporting vehicles, and equipment. While we hope the devastating Boxing Day floods of 2015 never happen again, we are better prepared to deal with the consequences.

“We have deployed crews to other areas of the country such as Cumbria and Wiltshire when they have been overcome by flooding, and these new assets will enhance our ability to support fellow fire and rescue services in a major flood incident.”

Bingley fire station is one of six across West Yorkshire to have a water rescue capacity, and as part of the investment will receive a new Transporter van with powered boat and trailer, and a new Crafter support vehicle. Crews will also receive items including better-quality radio equipment and dry suits.

Chairman of WYFRA, Councillor Judith Hughes, said: “The fire service has undertaken a considerable amount of work since the 2015 floods to review its flood response capability and work with partners to carry out training exercises with our counterparts in local authority emergency planning teams.

“We were immensely proud of our firefighters’ actions that day and their determined efforts to keep people safe. By bolstering our provision of flood response assets we are ensuring our crews are equipped with the very best provisions should the same happen again.

“The fire authority is committed to providing the best possible equipment for our crews and as such we chose to make this investment.”