Humberside firefighters proved once again this weekend that specialist training and state of the art equipment is at the heart of everything they do. Whilst fires and RTCs remain the most common call-outs, being ready to respond to those in danger high in the sky or down in the muddy depths of local waterways is what they train for.
On Friday 13 (yes, Friday 13) October, 32 people were left standed at Hull Fair when the 'Power Tower' failed to return to terra firma after being hoisted 56m in the air. Due to a fault, the ride only made it two thirds of the way back down the central tower and remained stuck some 40 feet in the air.
The breakdown of one of Hull Fair's biggest rides happened at around 6.45pm on the penultimate night of the annual event on Walton Street. A multi-agency response kept those stuck warm and hydrated while an area around the ride was cleared to allow the aerial ladder platform (ALP) to manoevure into position to effect the complex rescue.
The ride was full with 32 riders aged 9 to 60 and the first were freed around 11.00pm with the last being lowered to safety on the ALP around 1.30am. Humberside Police, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance assisted in clearing the immediate area and keeping everyone safe and warm. Group Manger Phil Leake, who oversaw the rescue operation, praised those on the ride for remaining calm throughout the ordeal.
Just over 24 hours later, Hull crews were called to reports of a man stuck in the mud in the River Hull. Emergency services rushed to the scene at around 10.00am on Sunday morning after a member of the public called 999 to report a man in difficulty waste deep in mud.
The specialist water rescue teams used ladders and a stretcher board to reach the man and pull him to safety. He was left in the care of paramedics.
Chief Fire Officer Chis Blacksell praised the crews' swift actions by commenting on social media that 'they had saved a life before most people had even had breakfast.'
A dramatic 48 hours for those caught up in two very different dangerous situations, but all in a weekend's work for the exceptional Humberside crews.