WEST Yorkshire Fire Service isn’t usually known for hanging around.
A realistic training exercise yesterday however, saw three dramatic rope rescues at the Galpharm Stadium.
The fire service’s West Yorkshire Technical Rescue Team and officers from Cleckheaton’s Blue Watch were involved in the day-long event.
It came the day after firefighters from Cleckheaton used their rope and abseil skills to save a dog which had fallen down a banking in Beaumont Park.
They were drafted in after the dog plummeted down the banking at 8.30pm on Wednesday night; the successful rescue took about an hour.
The first scenario at the Galpharm Stadium simulated the recovery of a casualty with spinal injuries from the appropriately named Britannia Rescue Stand.
The second involved a complex situation of a child trapped in a confined space beneath the Direct Golf Stand and a maintenance engineer suffering an angina attack on a lighting platform.
Watch commander Colin Brown said: “West Yorkshire plays a leading role in technical rescue across the region but the Level 2 rope team provides specialist support with the ability to work at extreme height.
“The complex nature and spectacular aspect of the Galpharm Stadium provides us with an ideal training venue and I thank the staff there for their magnificent co-operation.”
Mark Hitchcock, station commander at Cleckheaton, said: “We’ve taken these Rope Level 2 responsibilities from October 1, prior to that we have had the technical rescue remit.
“We’ve been to quite a few incidents since then, mostly rescues down banks.
“This expertise means any rescue from height comes to us, so we’ve trained on tall buildings and at the Galpharm, which can double as a crane rescue.
“These do happen when operators have things like heart attacks.
“We have 48 trained personnel who can do this exceptionally high Rope Level 2 work.
“There is a set amount of training activity we have to do to retain the ability to do those rescues.
“We will have to do one day a month, but the technical rescue field is massive, even including things like recovering people from sewers.”