Costain construction 180Firefighters from across Cheshire and Greater Manchester have gathered on the Costain construction site for a major, multi-agency exercise.

The two Services firefighters attended the major training exercise which brought together police officers, ambulance personnel, highways agency and Costain workers. Exercise Costain was carried out on the Knutsford to Bowden improvement scheme. A construction worker had got into difficulties high up on a bridge stanchion and needed rescuing.

Emergency services were mobilised and the casualty was successfully brought down to the ground using the combined skills of firefighters, technical rescue units from Cheshire and Greater Manchester fire and rescue services and a HART team.

The scenario was put together by Knutsford firefighter, Mike Wyman, who said: “Exercise Costain has been a huge but enjoyable project to organise. It has created an excellent working platform and has set the foundations for a fantastic working relationship between the Fire Service and our partner agencies. It provided valuable knowledge and understanding into agency roles when dealing with complex height rescue incidents involving rescues at height and how effective team work and communication is in an effective and safety rescue.”

Jonathan Stokes, Highways England’s manager for the A556 project, added: “Fire and rescue services up and down the country are among Highways England’s most important partners – especially in working alongside our traffic officers to respond to incidents and helping to get drivers on the move again.

“Once we were sure we could accommodate these training exercises safely and without affecting our construction schedule, we were more than happy to open up sections of the A556 site to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service. As well as providing training benefits for the county’s firefighters it will also equip them with useful knowledge of the new dual carriageway and future road users can only benefit from that.”

A second exercise involving a serious road traffic collision is being planned for the new stretch of link road and will take place once that stage of the development has been completed.