Specialists shoot the rapids
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service crews from Richmond and Whitby fire stations practised their skills recently, carrying out an exercise at Richmond Falls
The training exercise, which was carried out in conjunction with members of the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team, was designed to test the Swift Water Team's skills in rescuing a number of casualties from the water at the falls. The scenario was based on a real incident which happened last year, when two local boys were rescued from the same spot after becoming trapped by rising water. Group Manager Carl Boasman said: "Our Swift Water Rescue Team practise all year round, and as we are now well into spring, we are in for what may be our busiest time of year for water rescue. Each year in Richmondshire, the Swift Water Team rescue several people who become trapped, or get into difficulty after entering the water. The River Swale is notorious for its rapid changes in river depth, and catches unwary people out on a regular basis."
He continues: "Joint exercises with our partner agencies mean that we can provide a highly skilled response team to these situations when they arise." The exercise involved five simulated casualties, who had become trapped in the falls area, requiring rescue. Crews used rescue swimmers, line equipment and rescue boats to rescue the casualties and bring them to shore.
Richard Hay of Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team, said: "The volunteers of Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team have recently expanded their water and flood rescue capability which is supported by funding from Leader; this means that we are better able to assist our colleagues from the Fire and Rescue Service. The exercise today at Richmond Falls was an excellent example of how the transferable skills of rescuers from both organisations can be brought together to serve our community."
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