Nottingham

Sick firefighters get compensation after rescue training

Fire rescue team with a dingy in a flooded road in July 2007 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The water rescue training was introduced by the government following widespread flooding in 2007

Firefighters who were taken ill after training at a Nottinghamshire water centre have been awarded compensation.

Training sessions, which replicated conditions after heavy rain, were held at the National Water Sports Centre, in Holme Pierrepoint, over four years.

The Fire Brigades Union claimed the water was a known public health risk.

Nottinghamshire County Council, who runs the centre, confirmed almost £90,000 has been paid in compensation without accepting liability.

Image caption More than 55,000 homes and businesses were flooded across the country during the summer of 2007

The firefighters flood training sessions took place between 2008 and 2012.

More than 60 members swallowed water believed to be infected with harmful pathogens and bacteria, during training, which the union claimed led to diarrhoea and sickness.

The claims have been made against the county council and a number of fire brigades.

Tam McFarlane, of the fire union, said: "Despite the overwhelming numbers of attendees becoming sick, and the expert evidence obtained, brigades continued to put my colleagues at risk of illness."

The firefighters have received compensation of up to £10,000 each.

Derek Higton, service director for the county council, said: "The council has recently settled 54 claims, without accepting liability, brought against it by fire service trades unions relating to stomach upsets allegedly caused by use of the National Water Sports Centre by Fire Services for submerged water training for firefighters."

The centre is not currently used for such training.

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