Page 9 - HOT NEWS JULY 2014
P. 9
Firefighters who helped rescue two women and a man from the water of a dock system in June last year after the yellow duck vehicle started to sink have been recognised for their actions during the rescue.
Toxteth Community Fire Station firefighters Sean O’Hara and firefighters Paul Ellison, along with firefighters Jay Conder and Billy Webb, at Liverpool City Community Fire Station, all donned dry suits and water rescue kit to go to the aid of people still in the water after the vessel started to take on water near Albert Dock.
The firefighters were all part of Red Watch at the two stations, who were on duty on the day.
The Watches were presented with Certificates of Meritorious Action by Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens at a special event at Aintree Racecourse.
Watch Manager Dave Thomas, from Liverpool City Community Fire Station, who also attended the awards event, said: “When we got there, there were three or four people still in the water who were unable to climb onto nearby narrow boats or swim to safety.
“The scene was quite chaotic when we arrived on the quayside. We reacted quickly and got our firefighters into the water.
I committed two firefighters from my crew, who were in dry suits with safety ropes attached to them, into the water and two of the crew from Toxteth. Other crew members helped provide support.
“The firefighters swam to rescue those still in the water, physically lifting them and helping them to reach the narrow boats they were near and dry land.
“The three people in the water were close to exhaustion.”
It is understood 33 people, including passengers and crew,
were onboard the vessel when it started to sink. Apart from the three adults rescued by firefighters, the others either made their own way to safety or were rescued by canal boats in the area.
Firefighters and other emergency services made checks to ensure all of the people onboard were accounted for.
Watch Manager Dave Shanahan, who was with Red Watch at Toxteth for the rescue, said: “This was a difficult rescue
due to the number of people in the water and the manoeuvring of the canal boats being used to rescue the people in the water.
“When the fire and rescue
service arrived three people
were experiencing extreme
difficulty in the water. Due to
the training, teamwork and
determination of the
firefighters deployed in the
water they managed to
rescue the three people and
get them to a safe location.
All the emergency services worked together effectively and ensured that that there was no loss of life at this incident.”
The Long Service and Good Conduct medalists who attended the event at Aintree were:
Station Manager Steve Gadsdon Station Manager Mark Thomas Station Manager Dave Watson Watch Manager Joe Cunliffe Watch Manager Ronnie Duffy Watch Manager Chris Howarth Watch Manager Carl Rainbird
Watch Manager Darin Speed Watch Manager Rob Tyrer Firefighter Barry Clarke Firefighter Ian Jones Firefighter Anthony Matthews Firefighter Steve Smith Firefighter Tony Wignall
A MF&RS Long Service and Good Conduct pin, awarded to support service staff who have completed 20 years’ service with good conduct, was also presented to Helen Peek at the event.
Photos: Chris Phillips.
Photos: Tony Thomas.

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