Crews scale heights and go underground for rescue training


Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) has been working in partnership with Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson, using tunnels beneath Nottingham Castle and scaling tower cranes at the University of Nottingham for rescue training.

30 firefighters from London Road, Highfields and Newark stations have undertaken the training at G F Tomlinson’s building sites so far.

In tunnels beneath the Ducal Palace at Nottingham Castle, which is currently undergoing extensive works as part of the £30m Castle Transformation Project, firefighters utilised specialist breathing apparatuses to undertake ‘confined spaces’ training.

The training has enabled NFRS crews to familiarise themselves with the layout of Nottingham Castle, understand the significant risks there, identify water supplies and create new up-to-date plans of the site, all of which will better prepare firefighters in the event of an incident.

At the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Biomolecular Sciences (CBS) Expansion, where G F Tomlinson is currently delivering a £23m expansion, firefighters used two tower cranes for high-rise rescue training. The training ensures firefighters are skilled in the correct procedures to safely and effectively deal with incidents involving rescue operations from significant heights.

Further training at both sites is scheduled to take place in the near future.

Martin Molloy, District Manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Being able to use Nottingham Castle and the University of Nottingham’s CBS site as training venues has been of great benefit to our fire service. It has enabled our crews to train on ‘high risk’ sites and understand the significant risks of each, helping us to be more prepared for any type of operational incident.

“Specialist rescue training is invaluable, but it can be difficult to find appropriate spaces to undertake this type of training, so we thank G F Tomlinson for opening its sites to our crews.”

Andy Sewards, director at G F Tomlinson, said: “It’s extremely important to the team at G F Tomlinson that we give back to the community whenever possible, so to be able to help our local first responders undertake training exercises that could save lives in the future is very rewarding.

“It’s rare for the fire service to be able to train at unique sites such as Nottingham Castle and utilise the landmark’s system of tunnels. It’s also rare for such large tower cranes to be used on such a tight site in close proximity to other University buildings, the ring road and tram line, so it’s fantastic that both sites have been able to double as training grounds for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“We look forward to continuing to support the local fire service on both of these sites and accommodating further training exercises this year.”

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