Fire and Police are “working better together” to rescue vulnerable people who threaten to jump from bridges or high buildings in a new initiative recently launched.
Firefighters skilled in rope rescues will quickly ensure trained police negotiators are hooked up so that they can safely talk to a person in distress.
They will also be on hand to rescue the person who may be in a precarious position on a high ledge or at the top of a tower block.
Firefighters from Hereford and Worcester joined police from West Mercia and Warwickshire and firefighters from Shropshire at a series of training sessions at Ironbridge Power Station in Telford to replicate rescues from a bridge over the River Severn and at the top of a high factory walkway.
Many people probably don’t realise that every fire engine across the local area has the necessary equipment to assist with rescues from height. Firefighters regularly train in rope rescue to ensure they can assist police officers who might be comforting someone in distress.
West Mercia and Warwickshire Police have 35 trained negotiators who travel to wherever they are needed.
“The fire and rescue service can make sure police officers are working at heights safely to negotiate and get the casualty to safety afterwards. They are there to help us and carry out a rescue,” said a police spokesperson.