Buckinghamshire firefighters rescue dummy from Aylesbury church as part of training exercise

Crew from Bucks Fire and Rescue came to the aid of a ‘casualty’ from St Mary’s Church, Aylesbury as part of a training exercise.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 4:42 pm

Initially personnel from the fire service used specialist equipment to rescue the dummy from the very top of the church, taking them down the winding staircase and into the bell ringing chamber.

From there a specialised team from the brigade's urban search and rescue unit took over, putting together a complex pully and hoist system, to lower the dummy down gently to the ground floor.

Bucks urban search and rescue team is one of 19 within fire services in the UK - which were set up in the wake of 9/11 to respond to potential terrorist threats.

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Bucks Fire and Rescue service parked outside St Mary's Church ahead of the rescue operation

The fire service has a good relationship with St Mary's and uses it as a venue for its annual carol service, prompting the brigade to contact rector Fr Doug Zimmerman to ask if they could use the church for training purposes.

Fr Doug said: "I contacted the Diocesan Advisory Committee and ascertained we didn’t need an application for a drill.

"We have a wonderful relationship with Bucks Fire and Rescue and we continue to interact with them when we see them in the street.

"I blessed their new fire truck when they brought it to church.

Firefighters waiting for the casualty dummy to be lowered to the ground floor of the church

"I’m sure other parishes could work like this and get to know their local firefighters

Bucks fire and rescue service crew commander Mark Allison said: “The church is a good venue because the narrow staircase, which is a confined space, and bell ringing chamber make it more realistic for us.”

Fire service personnel recover the hatch as they consider the best way to move the casualty
Firefighters navigated the dummy down the winding staircase as part of the rescue drill
Fire service equipment for the rescue drill is hoisted up into the bell chamber