ON Friday, 15th March 2019, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s (MAWWFRS) specialist Rope Rescue Level 3 team took part in a training exercise at Brecon Cathedral.

The training event was hosted at the invitation of the Dean of Brecon Cathedral, who has worked closely with MAWWFRS to identify potential risks at the Cathedral, and specifically the bell tower, in the event of an emergency incident.

During the exercise, the Rope Rescue Team were presented with a scenario of a casualty trapped within the Bell Tower, approximately 25 meters above the ground.

To access the casualty, the firefighters had to carry their equipment along narrow corridors and steep spiralling stone stairwells within the Bell Tower.

Due to the challenging and difficult environment that the building presented to the crew, carrying the casualty back down the corridors and stairwells was not an option.

The crew, however, were able to utilise the infrastructure of the Cathedral to carry out the rescue, by securing ropes within the Bell Tower and accessing the central opening trap door to lower the casualty securely down on a stretcher.

With the dummy casualty rescued, firefighters then proceeded to exercise their abseiling skills from the Bell Tower.

Watch Manager Chris Coles, Supervisor for Level 3 Rope Rescue Team said, “I would like to thank the Dean of Brecon Cathedral for allowing us to train at this unique and beautiful building.

“It is of the utmost importance that we experience and train for a wide variety on scenarios.

“This valuable training, within a live environment, enables us to hone our skills and techniques in preparation for the real thing; an emergency rescue rescue within a confined space or difficult environment.”

Please click the link to watch a short video on how the team go on.

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