Rescue from height/Tower crane training

The team has a role within the Greater Manchester area joint with the Oldham MRT to maintain a structures/line rescue capability, if called upon to do such when assisting Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, or indeed when responding to calls from NWAS and GMP to structures and the like.

As part of this role the team (alongside its more usual regular crag/quarry and steep ground training), undertakes specialist training on industrial structures and tower cranes (for example see website articles on team tower crane training for the 7th and 21st September 2003, and 15th October 2006).

Today 14 team members undertook a series of exercises on a Manchester City Centre 45 metre high (147 feet) tower crane, joined by 5 of our colleagues from Oldham MRT and a member of Calder Valley SRT.


Team members prepare for the tower crane training exercise

The exercise took place on a large new development site in the Ayton Street/London Road area of Manchester City Centre, thankfully it was a warm and dry day.

Exercises took place from the operators cab at the top of the structure, simulating a collapsed crane driver, from off the front boom/jib, simulating a workman with all the access and rescue difficulties of being free hanging and the problems of ’suspension trauma’, and the rescue of an exercise casualty from one of the ladder stages within the structure of the tower itself.


A team member abseils down to “rescue” a training dummy.


John repares his abseil from the outside of the tower.

This excellent exercise opportunity for our team and our colleagues at Oldham MRT was only possible through the special and readily granted permission of the crane and associated building site company ’Carillion Limited’.


In his usual comical fashion, Craig wobbles a bit of the crane structure and announces to all that he’s found “a loose bit”. Probably!

Special thanks are offered to Ron Delamere, Director of Carillion, for granting the permission to stage the exercise, to Darren Harding, Construction Manager (Carillion) for meeting the team on Monday 29th October for a pre exercise look at the tower crane and a discussion and ready agreement on what we wanted to achieve, and finally to Stuart Barlow, Health and Safety and Environmental Manager (Carillion) for the construction site where the tower crane is sited, for meeting us on the exercise and offering full support to ensure the success of the exercise.

So impressed was Stuart Barlow with the exercise he allowed himself to be rescued from within the tower crane and then lowered down to the ground safe in the hands of Bolton MRT rescuer Gyles Denn.
Throughout the exercise, PR staff were on hand from Carillion Limited, taking many photographs which we understand will be featured in their company’s ’in house’ magazine.

At the conclusion of the exercise, as we were saying our thankyous to Stuart Barlow, we were called out to a rescue by NWAS (GMA) and so made a hurried depature from the site.

Both the Bolton MRT and the Oldham MRT wishes to thank Carillion Limited for granting us the permission to undertake this unique and essential training within their construction site.