Going underground: Crews simulate tunnel rescue


​A two-mile tunnel which will form a new sewer system played host to a training exercise where crews quite literally went underground to simulate the rescue of a casualty.

Around 15 firefighters from Edwinstowe, Newark and Retford took part in the exercise at Newark's new sewer system, which tested their capabilities with rescuing a casualty from a confined space.

The tunnel, which when finished, will run underneath Newark, was the perfect place for firefighters to come together with construction workers from BNM Alliance, as well as Severn Trent Water, to assess the risks of the site and work together to train rescuing a construction worker from the sewer.

The exercise saw firefighters from Newark's Specialist Rescue Unit hohne their skills in working in confined spaces, while crews from Edwinstowe and Retford tested the Service's new breathing apparatus equipment underground.

Station Manager Martin Bills attended the exercise, and said: "This was a really good opportunity for us to practice our skills in rescuing from confined spaces, while being able to assess a local risk site in Nottinghamshire.

"The tunnel is still under construction, so this made a perfect opportunity to simulate the rescue of a construction worker from 100 meters inside the two-mile tunnel -  thankfully situations like this are rare, however, we pride ourselves on being ready for any situation that we could face at an incident.

"Being able to work alongside contractors from BNM Alliance who are currently working on the tunnel was a very positive experience, and they were very supportive of our training and requirements, working with us to get the most out of the site.

"Overall I think I speak on behalf of everyone involved when I say it was a really successful exercise, and as with anything of this kind, it is a valuable experience to gain a first-hand insight into locations which could be potential risk, and how we would deal with an incident if it were to occur here."

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