Fire Service training in ‘live’ trench

Firefighters from Chorley's Urban Search and Rescue unit training in trenches at Monks Training, Leyland
Firefighters from Chorley's Urban Search and Rescue unit training in trenches at Monks Training, Leyland

A specialist rescue team from Chorley dug in for training in Leyland this week.

For the first time, seven members of Lancashire Urban Search and Rescue team (USAR), part of the fire service based at Chorley, got the chance to practice rescuing a casualty from an 8ft deep ‘live’ trench.

Watch Manager Joe Joseph said: “The technical trench training means that if a DIY person or a worker has an accident in a trench, then we can go in and perform a rescue.”

Chris Monk Training, in Avant Gardens, Leyland, dug out the trenches, and a dummy was lowered in, ready for the rescue operation.

Joe added: “This was a live trench, meaning it was unstable and one of the sides could have collapsed, meaning we’d lose the dummy.

“We had to put in a shoring system with wood struts and cross braces to enable us to go in safely and get the casualty out. It was the first time since I completed my technical trench course five years ago that I’ve been able to use a live trench with all the hazards involved.

“Because we struggle to get a training provider to help us, we usually have to use concrete trenches, so Chris Monk’s has helped us massively.”

The Urban Search and Rescue team can be deployed to any emergency situation in the country, and were the team called to help at the Greyrigg train crash in Cumbria in 2007. Some members are also trained to deal with earthquake situations and can deployed internationally.

Joe added: “This training can be used in a range of different rescue situations, and is massively helpful.”