The voluntary Inland Flood Rescue Teams are not represented either by Mountain Rescue or by ALSAR (Lowland Search and Rescue) and therefore after a number of discussions between various independent teams, an inaugural meeting took place at the Environment Agency offices Shrewsbury on Saturday 27th September 2008, which has a nucleus of 5 teams and this is now currently at some 12 with numerous others in discussions. All in the process of forming an organisation that can provide a collective voice to represent and to develop the voluntary sector water rescue element within the UK.
Last years' serious flooding in July 07 highlighted a whole series of weaknesses. Although the Pitt report has come up with some very substantial recommendations, we still have this grey area on nil representation and thus IFRA is now well established and moving forward, with a crew gathering scheduled for Saturday 29th November 2008, this being a Mercia's location at Upton Marina and will involve a general discussion with various interested elements i.e. Fire Service, Coast Guard, Police etc, together with being a publicity launch involving television, radio, newspapers etc. In addition to providing a collective voice, we aim to provide a national standard, noting we have a number of the specialist training centres that are involved in supporting the new organisation.
Mercia is an RYA Power Boat Training School with Coastal Endorsement. It is also open for RYA II training courses.
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