Hinkley Connection Project welcomes Avon Fire Rescue Service

The firefighters carried out a potentially lifesaving tower rescue simulation

On the cold crisp afternoon of Saturday 10 December, National Grid and principal contractor Balfour Beatty had the privilege of hosting the local heroes of the Avon Fire and Rescue Service on the Hinkley Connection Project.

Slightly delayed by the call of duty and a real-life emergency, firefighters from Red Watch at Temple Station assembled at the newly-constructed lattice pylon, close to St Andrew’s Way in Avonmouth for a tower rescue simulation exercise.  For safety reasons, this training can’t take place on live infrastructure. The fact that the pylon is built, but conductors are not yet hung nor energised, provided a unique opportunity for the specialist rope rescue team.

After introductions and a safety check, the team climbed the lattice pylon by rope and ladder using approved techniques.  The team carried out the tower rescue procedure safely and efficiently from start to finish, with the dummy casualty being safely retrieved to ground on a stretcher by rope and pully method.

We were pleased to support our local firefighters in their life-saving work

James Grady, Crew Manager, Avon Fire and Rescue said, “We'd like to extend our thanks to National Grid and Balfour Beatty for accommodating us and allowing us access to the pylon in Avonmouth for training.

"As Avon Fire and Rescue Service’s Technical Rope Rescue Team, we are called to a wide-range of incidents where people are in need of rescue from height. Having the chance to try out new techniques on a 65-metre tower is a very valuable experience for us.

"We look forward to working closely in the future with Balfour Beatty and National Grid in training scenarios, and we'll be ready to respond to any live incidents if we're ever required.”

Aden Precious, Project Manager for National Grid added, “We were pleased to provide access to one of the Hinkley Connection Project’s newly built pylons to support our local firefighters in their life-saving work, including future 'at-height' rescues that the team is called out to."

"Getting everyone who works on our construction projects home safe at the end of the day is our absolute priority and this kind of training scenario will be invaluable for emergency rescues from any of our pylons, should it be needed.”

Robert White of Balfour Beatty added, "This was a commendable effort that could prove potentially life saving to future pylon rescue scenarios.  All learnings were captured for review by Balfour Beatty, National Grid and Avon Fire and Rescue. This will support joint collaboration, teamwork and continual improvement on the journey towards zero harm in construction."