Fire

Maritime resilience: sea of change status: the UK Maritime Coastguard Agency introduced in January 2003 the 'Sea of Change' research project to maintain and further develop shore based UK Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) assistance in support of other search and rescue agencies and to react to a life threatening incident occurring on a vessel at sea.(Maritime Resilience)

A NUMBER OF ARTICLES HAVE already been published within previous issues of FIRE emphasising the role and importance of the developing Sea of Change strategy. In 1998 the CACFOA Operations Committee set up a small working party of senior officers from a number of coastal FRSs, culminating in a 150-page report being compiled, called Offshore Firefighting Working Party Report-1998.

After consideration of the range of relevant factors the CFOA report of 1998 concluded that: 'A national response should be based around the widest involvement facilitated by collaborative arrangements'.

Almost eight years later, and with the Sea of Change project clue to complete by March 31, considerable work has taken place to integrate 15 strategically located FRSs into the new national strategy that will support UK maritime resilience. This group of specifically trained and equipped FRSs will be known as the UK Fire and Rescue Services Maritime Incident Response Group (MIRG).

The uniqueness of this project is reflected in the challenges that have been addressed in relation to cross-departmental (government) collaboration when achieving some of the key objectives in relation to training and equipment provision in particular. These areas, which have not until very recently received any 'core' funding are now being supported, primarily by the Department for Transport and MCA in particular, to the sum of almost 3m [pounds sterling]. …

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