Shropshire Fire Officers hurtled downstream in fast flowing water on one of the coldest days of the year to experience what it was like to be rescued as part of a training course.
It was management training with a difference for four Station Managers from the county who experienced the “icy” water training in sub zero temperatures in the River Dee at Llangollen.
They each had to launch themselves into the treacherous river to float quickly downstream, catch a rope thrown from the bank and pull themselves to safety along with other specialist rescue techniques.
They trained in and out of the water for five hours in both pitch darkness and daylight to discover what their crews have to go through in difficult situations to rescue or search for casualties.
“It was snowing, your hands and feet were numb and it must have been one of the coldest days of the year but it is excellent training. The course also looked at how best to plan and respond for large flooding incidents, which as tactical commanders can be very challenging, ” said Station Manager Craig Jackson, of Shrewsbury Fire Station.
“We have to ensure we deal with such incidents efficiently and when we ask firefighters to carry out rescues we must ensure we are not putting them in danger. We have to know what their limitations are.”
The fearless fire officers were on a five day course under expert instruction at River Active, a white water centre venue at Mile End Mill, Llangollen, where emergency services train to carry out rescues in moving water.
Shropshire firefighters are called to deal with flooding incidents in the county and to help fire crews across the UK.
You can follow Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service on Facebook and twitter to see the variety of challenges facing firefighters to keep the community safe. See Station Manager Craig Jackson's fast flowing water experience on Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service's Facebook page.