A favourable contract allows the service access to a range of specialist vehicles, including a Haggland amphibious personnel carrier, quads and speedboats

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Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) has been given access to more than £1m of specialist equipment to use as and when it needs to, for only £22,000 a year.

ECFRS’s deputy chief fire officer Gordon Hunter said, “Essex is a high risk area for flooding. Only this week we had a coastal flood warning in place.

“The contract with Spartan provides us with access to £1.2m worth of vehicles, plus the extra annual cost we would need to spend for training and servicing. This provides excellent value for money and superb resilience for the communities we serve.”

Essex is home to the annual V Festival and will also play its part in the 2012 Olympics by hosting the mountain biking events at Hadleigh Farm.