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by the NFCC

Control measure

Request National Resilience resources for high volume pumps

Control measure knowledge

High volume pumps (HVPs) can be used for incidents including:

  • Natural flooding – Flooding is becoming an increasing problem; it may cause widespread damage and disruption to areas and can often affect a large number of locations at the same time. HVPs can enhance the ability of the fire and rescue service to mitigate the effects of flooding. This assistance may involve working in partnership with the lead government agency for flooding or the environmental agency.
  • Deliberate flooding – There are incidents where an individual or an organisation deliberately cause flooding. HVPs can enhance the capability of the fire and rescue service, to mitigate the effects of these incidents. This assistance may involve working alongside water or wastewater service suppliers and the environmental agency.
  • Firefighting activities – HVPs can enhance and provide resilience for fire and rescue services, by pumping high volumes of water for firefighting and bulk media provision at the incident ground. If incidents occur on a larger scale, or if several incidents occur at the same time, it may affect the volume or pressure of the local water supply. If HVPs use pressure-fed water supplies, it is essential to liaise with the local water authority in order to maximise the effectiveness of available water mains and not cause further disruption to the water network.

Operations to save life, prevent incident escalation or to render humanitarian services should not be delayed awaiting the attendance of HVP resources, subject to a risk assessment.

Requesting National Resilience response

If the fire and rescue service incident commander believes the National Resilience HVP capability is required, they should provide the following information to National Resilience Fire Control (NRFC) via the affected fire and rescue service control room:

  • Intended use of the HVP – water provision or water removal
  • Incident details, including size, type and scale
  • Current pumping resources and capabilities in use
  • Resource requirements
  • Initial location for a rendezvous point (RVP), strategic holding area (SHA) or multi-agency strategic holding area (MASHA)
  • Host fire and rescue service point of contact name and contact details
  • Safe approach route to the incident
  • Potential length of deployment

Early consideration should be given to the requesting of a Tactical Advisor for information and support regarding the capabilities and deployment of HVPs.  This can be sought through the National HVP Tactical Advisors (TacAds) cadre, either remotely via telephone or by requesting them to attend the incident.

Any request for a Tac Ad should be made to NRFC via the affected fire and rescue service control room.

HVP assets are mounted on prime movers and are classed as large goods vehicles.  They weigh approximately 26 tonnes fully laden. This should be taken into account when determining suitable access and egress routes, and hard standing areas to demount units. Demounted units maybe be left in situ for several days, therefore the security of the assets should be considered.

If the deployment of a HVP will be into open water consideration should be given to the distance from a suitable hard-standing area for the HydroSub to the open water. HVPs have a submersible pump with hydraulic power hoses and winch cable of 60m, with the submersible pump capable of being deployed up to a distance of 55m from the HydroSub. A small number of HVPs have been modified with 80m of hydraulic power hoses and winch cable to enable the deployment of the submersible pump up to a distance of 75m from the HydroSub.

HVP delivery hose lines are 150mm in diameter when laid and charged and can cause obstructions to transport networks and premise access. Hose line routes should be carefully considered, in conjunction with the use of hose ramps. Three hose ramp sets are provided with each full HVP set.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Have systems in place to request HVP resources or specialist capability advice from National Resilience Fire Control

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Request HVP resources or specialist capability advice using agreed National Resilience protocols

  • Establish the quantity and type of resources being provided and identify suitable deployment locations for them (including pre and post deployment locations) such as a  rendezvous point, strategic holding area of multi-agency strategic holding area 

  • Identify suitable routes for HVP vehicular access and demounting locations

  • Consider routes for HVP hose deployment, the potential impact and mitigation options

  • Consider water capacities available and their sustainability

  • Contact local water authorities if using pressure-fed supply for water delivery

  • Consider the environmental impact of using HVP to deliver water from open water supply

  • Consider the environmental impact of using HVP to remove flood water

  • Identify suitable locations to clean, decontaminate and repatriate pumps and equipment if necessary 

  • Consider the environmental impact of water run-off at all incidents