No cause for alarm as fire service makes dramatic rescue in Cambridge

22 January 2016 08:50 - BAM Construct UK Ltd

Hemel Hempstead, 22 January 2016 - Fire crews were present on the North West Cambridge Development recently – but this wasn’t an emergency; it was a chance for advanced training. A tower crane being used by BAM Construction to develop parts of Eddington at the heart of the scheme was used for a recovery exercise. Firefighters from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Cambridge crews climbed up static tower crane to perform the dummy rescue of a colleague.

BAM project manager Nick Austin said: ‘’ The fire service has practice towers but these cranes offered an opportunity to work in unfamiliar surroundings and at greater heights. The feedback from the fire service was very positive. We are delighted to have helped them and they are also giving us comments on our own recovery plans, so it is a mutually supportive process.’

The co-operation with the fire service is part of BAM’s policy for using its projects across the UK to support community programmes and create learning, work experience and safety opportunities.

Firefighter David Oura, from Cambridge black watch, explained the exercise lasted about 90 minutes and was a good opportunity for the 12 fire service staff to hone their skills working at height. He said: ‘The scenario was to rescue an unauthorised person climbing on the crane out of working hours and the training was of real benefit to us as it allowed us to practice our procedures and equipment for working at height. The number of tower cranes in the Cambridge city area is significant and training on one exposed the crews to a realistic environment.’

BAM has an £80 million contract with the University of Cambridge that includes building 349 homes for university and college key workers to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5, as well as a supermarket and retail units, a doctors’ surgery, and the shell of the energy centre to BREEAM Excellent standard. There will be phased completions for the North West Cambridge Development, with the local centre open from Spring 2017.