Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

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EIR 1712 / April 2024 / PPE and Hazards

Thank you for your request under the Environmental Information Regulations.

We can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold the information you have requested.

Please see below the answer to your request.

Questions and final response:

Question 1 - I live on Canvey Island close to Canvey Lake which is closed to the public because it is invested with Botulism. In the event of a flood, I understand that the flood water would become contaminated with Botulism.

Do the Emergency Services have protected clothing and equipment etc. for dealing with this additional danger.


Essex County Fire & Rescue Service (ECFRS) do provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to our Firefighting colleagues.

Firefighting crews are not expected to enter any water that is over boot height.

If firefighting crews do need to wade in water below their boot height, their PPE is suitably water resistant.

Firefighting PPE also contains a pathogen barrier to prevent any contamination penetrating the layers of material.

Following an incident of this nature, crews would disrobe and bag their PPE ready for decontamination, this decontamination is carried out by an external contractor.

Additionally, a significant flood incident is responded to by specially trained Water Rescue Teams who have the appropriate PPE and equipment necessary for this kind of activity.

Subsequent decontamination procedures are in place also to decontaminate their Water Rescue PPE. It is important to note that in the event of a flooding incident additional environmental contaminates from other sources would also present in flood water, for example: raw sewage, submerged motor vehicle, underground storage tanks etc. 


Question 2 - How does Health and Safety laws stand with this situation. ECFRS Health & Safety department have assisted with developing our strategy for our firefighting crews, to safely deal with a wide range of contaminants including contaminated water.


All of ECFRS response and training activities are suitably risk assessed.


We hope this information is useful to you.




Incident and other data is published on our transparency site. Incident Data ( .

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this request will be published on our website

All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including contact details will be disclosed as part of this process.




Thank you for your interest in Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, we hope this satisfies your request.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to apply for an internal review.

Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of your original email and should be sent to or sent to our postal address: Internal Review, System & Data Information Governance Team, Kelvedon Park, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex CM8 3HB.

Please ensure you quote the above reference number in all future communications.