Electricity company takes to the water

Pictured (from left, back): Stacey Cartwright, Jamie Rushin and Dave Nicholls, (front) Jamie Currie, Stuart Holland, and Kev Hunter. Team members not pictured are Baz Collingwood, Adie Daubney and Shane Oglesbee. Picture: Richard Tatham
Pictured (from left, back): Stacey Cartwright, Jamie Rushin and Dave Nicholls, (front) Jamie Currie, Stuart Holland, and Kev Hunter. Team members not pictured are Baz Collingwood, Adie Daubney and Shane Oglesbee. Picture: Richard Tatham

They say electricity and water do not mix, however in Boston the same cannot be said when it comes to electricity workers and water.

A nine-strong team from Western Power Distribution’s (WPD’s) Boston depot have taken to the wet stuff in a bid to strengthen the electricity distribution company’s emergency response to floods.

Jamie Rushin, Jamie Currie and Stuart Holland are pictured demonstrating their rescue techniques. Picture: Richard Tatham

Jamie Rushin, Jamie Currie and Stuart Holland are pictured demonstrating their rescue techniques. Picture: Richard Tatham

All 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 the WPD 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, WPD has invested in water rescue boats, a rescue sled and a SupaCat amphibious craft, all of which are based in Boston.

The company also has a number of pump tender units (ex-fire engines) stationed around its distribution area.