Specialist Teams and Resources for Emergency Incidents
We have specialist teams and resources to respond to a range of emergencies.
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service trains and equips its
firefighters to deal with any emergency incident that they may be
called to attend.
In certain circumstances however, an emergency incident may be
addressed more safely and effectively by personnel with more
specialist knowledge, training and equipment.
We have specialist teams and resources that are available to
respond to emergencies in Northumberland. These specialist teams
and resources enhance Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service’s
ability to protect the people who live and work in as well as visit
When you dial 999 and ask for Fire and Rescue, you will be put
through to one of our operators within Fire Control. Fire Control
consists of highly skilled operators and supervisors who primarily
respond to emergency calls and mobilise fire crews and resources to
attend emergency incidents.
Fire Control is located at Northumberland Fire and Rescue
Service HQ at West Hartford and is operational 24 hours a day,
every day of the year.
Fire Investigation Officers
Following a fire, an investigation may be required to determine
the cause. Our team of specialist fire investigators are trained to
carry out detailed fire scene examinations that will help determine
what happened. They will look for evidence such as charred remains,
glass fragments, electrical wiring and ignitable liquids. This
information can tell them how the fire started, how the fire spread
and what could have happened prior to and during ignition.
Flood Management Unit (FMU)
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service’s Flood Management Unit
(FMU) is based at Pegswood Community Fire Station. The FMU contains
equipment that enhances NFRS’s ability to assist Northumberland
County Council in limiting and preventing damage caused by
flooding. The service is operated 24/7 and is used to supplement
Northumberland County Council’s resources at major flooding
incidents. Under normal circumstances the FMU is primarily used to
protect critical infrastructure.
High Volume Pumping Unit (HVP)
Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service’s High Volume Pumping
Unit (HVP) is based at Pegswood Community Fire Station. The HVP
provides the ability to pump large volumes of water very quickly –
it can pump up to 7,000 litres of water per minute!
The HVP is crewed 24/7 by 28 specially trained operators. It can
be used at a number of different types of emergencies which may
require pumping and storage of large volumes of water.
Some examples of when it can be used are given below:
Incident Response Unit (IRU)
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service’s Incident Response Unit
(IRU) is based at West Hartford Community Fire Station (also
Northumberland’s Service Headquarters). It contains a range of
equipment for use in the event of a Chemical, Biological,
Radioactive, Nuclear or Explosive (CBRNE) incident. Our specially
trained IRU operators can use the equipment on the IRU to perform
Specialist Rescue Unit (SRU)
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service’s Specialist Rescue Unit
(SRU) is based at West Hartford Community Fire Station. The SRU is
sent to emergencies across the county and is sometimes sent to
assist Fire and Rescue Services in neighbouring areas.
The types of emergencies which the SRU will attend include those
- Large Goods Vehicles (lorries, buses and vans)
- Trains or aircraft
- Multiple vehicle Road Traffic Collisions
- Any incidents requiring specialist rescues (for example, trench
or building collapse)
Swift Water Rescue Teams (SWRTs)
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service has developed a
multi-layered approach to responding to flooding and providing
swift water rescue. Personnel are water rescue trained to a variety
- Level 1 - All fire and rescue responders are trained in water
- Level 2 - 52 personnel at Pegswood Community Fire Station and
10 personnel at Rothbury Community Fire Station are fully trained
and equipped as Water Rescue First Responders. They are able to
carry out wading rescues in still and flowing water.
- Level 3 – 3 specialist Swift Water Rescue Teams have been
created and strategically placed throughout the county - one in the
North (Berwick), one in the West (Hexham) and one in the South
(Pegswood). These teams have specialist training and equipment to
enable them to respond to emergencies within swift water, mud and
Wildfire Support Officers (WSOs) and Wildfire Unit
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service has created a specialist
team of 10 Wildfire Support Officers (WSOs) to improve the way it
responds to wildfire incidents. The WSOs are all operational
supervisory managers who have received advanced wildfire training.
This training and continual professional development enables them
to attend wildfire incidents to act as Tactical Advisors and/or
Health and Safety Advisors to Incident Commanders, Sector
Commanders (who are in charge of an area of an incident), or carry
out specific tasks that requiring more advanced training.