NSW flood rescue fleet upgrade hopes to save more lives

Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS

A slew of new storm and rescue vessels will help protect parts of NSW most at risk of flooding, following record disasters that battered communities last year.

Inflatable rescue boats and rafts as well as high clearance trucks that can negotiate floodwaters are part of a $25 million upgrade to the NSW State Emergency Service flood rescue fleet.

The delivery of almost 200 new vehicles and vessels follows recommendations from the Independent Flood Inquiry to improve disaster response capabilities.

Record flooding last year resulted in more than 80,000 calls for help to the NSW SES.

The new assets include 40 inflatable rescue vessels, 50 ark angel inflatable rescue rafts, 10 high clearance trucks, eight light flood rescue vehicles, 30 command vehicles and two heavy rescue vehicles.

Crews will be able to communicate using 4G and satellite networks to stay connected and overcome communications black spots.

The rollout will prioritise parts of the state most vulnerable to inundation with units in the Northern Rivers, Central West and Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley already receiving equipment.

Premier Chris Minns said the new boats and vehicles will help save lives and minimise the impact of disasters on communities.

Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib said flood-impacted communities in the Central West and the Northern Rivers will particularly benefit.