South Yorkshire’s fire crews have taken part in a realistic, rope rescue exercise to test their response in the event of a major height rescue incident.
The exercise was simulated to test the emergency planning and training procedures in place at Tween Bridge Wind Farm in Doncaster. It specifically focused on dealing with emergency scenarios in which a casualty is suspended at height.
The first scenario of the day involved the complex rescue of a casualty who was suspended 25 metres up a turbine on a ladder. The second scenario involved crews lowering a casualty from the top of an 80 metre turbine using a stretcher. Crews from Thorne and Dearne fire stations worked together to successfully carry out each rope rescue.
The site manager from Tween Bridge, alongside two maintenance operators and two external rope rescue instructors were also involved in the exercise.
Darren Robertson, station manager at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “Firefighters respond to a huge range of emergencies, far beyond the house fires and road traffic collisions we are traditionally associated with. Rescues from height can be extremely complex, which is what makes training like this so important. Both scenarios were successfully completed and generated a great deal of operational learning.”
Richard Couzens, Regional Production Manager at Tween Bridge Wind Farm, said: “Emergency planning and training is of paramount importance not only at E.ON but throughout the wind industry. Even minor injuries can quickly escalate into more challenging situations when you take into account the fact that the casualty is at great height above ground level and in need of assistance.
It is only through working with local fire and rescue crews and specialist rope rescue teams that we can increase familiarisation around our working environment. We are incredibly grateful to the local teams for taking time out to join us for the training activity and share their knowledge and experience in this area.”
This recent exercise formed part of an ongoing aim at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue to continually improve emergency response procedures to incidents that aren’t just fires.
Tween Bridge is one of E.ONs many onshore wind farms across the UK and is home to 22 turbines.