Teaming up to practise rescues

HM Coast Guard and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service use specialist equipment to reach a 'casualty' on the bottom of a cliff.

HM Coast Guard and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service use specialist equipment to reach a 'casualty' on the bottom of a cliff.

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Two emergency teams joined forces to practise a rescue operation.

More than 20 staff from Northumberland Fire and Rescue and HM Coastguard were involved in the scenario to rescue an injured casualty from the bottom of a cliff at Collywell Bay, Seaton Sluice.

Officers worked together to use specialist rescue equipment to safely gain access to the bottom of the cliff before stabilising the ‘casualty’ and bringing him to safety.

Mark McCarty, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue service, said: “Working with other rescue teams to coordinate rescue scenarios is a great opportunity to familiarise both teams with each other’s abilities and equipment.

“Having carried out the operation, both teams now have a better understanding of how to use each other’s skills in the event of a real incident.

“It was an invaluable exercise and we hope to use similar scenarios with the Coastguard in the future to further develop the teams working relationship.”

Adam Turner, senior coastal operations officer at HM Coastguard, said: “It was a great opportunity for both services to exercise alongside each other and gain an enhanced understanding of each other’s capabilities. When the need arises to collaborate at a real rescue we are now better prepared and will be able to utilise each other’s capabilities more effectively.

“We hope to organise more of these joint training sessions to maintain our close working relationship and ensure that the public are provided with the best possible service.”

Residents are reminded if they see someone in difficulty at the coast to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.