Scottish Fire and Rescue undertakes live rescue exercise on construction site

Image credit: Scottish Water/Amey-Binnies

SCOTTISH Fire and Rescue Service crews have been given a ‘rare’ opportunity to carry out a live rescue exercise on a construction site.

It comes thanks to Scottish Water and its utility partner, Amey-Binnies. The firms are delivering a flood alleviation project in Lanark, with the emergency exercise being set up using the 13-metre-deep sewage tank they are installing in the town’s Wellgate car park.

Amey-Binnies regularly undertakes emergency rescue drills on projects and site manager Willie McAllister contacted local fire services to see if they would be interested. He explained, “The ‘hands-on’ training involved the recovery of an injured person from the bottom of the storm tank using ropes.

“It was of great operational benefit for everyone involved, particularly for the fire and rescue service as the crews were kept in the dark until they arrived on site.”

SFRS Station commander, Philip Macdonald, thanked everyone involved in delivering the partnership event. He commented, “This exercise brought together our crews and operations control colleagues to enhance our existing skills, knowledge and experience of complex line rescue incidents.

“The footage taken at the event will be developed into a learning package to benefit even more staff across the Service.”

Scottish Water explained that, during extreme weather events, excess water will spill into the new tank and be stored there before being pumped back into the sewer network once water levels there have fallen.

The project – which will also see new sewer pipes installed in neighbouring Bernard’s Wynd – is on schedule to be completed by the end of July.

Georgina Reid, Scottish Water’s corporate affairs manager in the west, said, “This was a great example of collaboration, and our delivery partners contributing to the training and development of the emergency services on a live Scottish Water project.

“Serving our communities is at the heart of everything we do, and ensuring our workforce is kept safe at all times is a top priority.

“This was a brilliant opportunity for our Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to undertake vital training in a real-life situation.”