Firefighters rescue stranded workers

THREE workers were dramatically rescued after becoming stranded 60ft in the air as they attempted to put an aerial on a water tower.Fire chiefs last night said the trio were fortunate to escape unscathed after they were marooned when their hydraulic cherry picker failed in West Road, Bury St Edmunds, yesterday.

THREE workers were dramatically rescued after becoming stranded 60ft in the air as they attempted to put an aerial on a water tower.

Fire chiefs last night said the trio were fortunate to escape unscathed after they were marooned when their hydraulic cherry picker failed in West Road, Bury St Edmunds, yesterday.

But fireman at the scene said the incident again highlighted the importance of the turntable ladder - called out to the incident - which was at the centre of the lengthy Suffolk fire strikes earlier this year.

Assistant Divisional Officer Jon Illingworth said: “We were fortunate that it was fairly straightforward weather conditions - if it had been more windy the cherry picker would have started to sway and this could have resulted in possible problems.


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“But we still had to get them down as quickly as possible to ensure they were not too exposed to the cold. And the wind could have picked up fairly quickly.”

A firecrew from the town were called to the incident shortly after midday yesterday and the turntable ladder was subsequently used.

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“We were called to the incident after a hydraulic cherry picker failed with three site workers at the top,” ADO Illingworth said.

“I did an initial site inspection to assess whether we could deal it and I then requested the turntable ladder.”

ADO Illingworth said the Bury turntable ladder used yesterday would be replaced soon and other options were being looked at.

In October, members of the Suffolk Fire Brigade Union agreed to call off prolonged strike action in protest over job cuts after it was agreed to replace the turntable ladder with a new multi-role vehicle.

The union had earlier taken action against a decision to axe a dozen specialist jobs operating the turntable ladder at Bury.

The dispute involved a total of 22 strikes and reached its height when more than 250 firefighters from across the UK marched on the Cornhill, in Ipswich, against the plans.

None of the workers wanted to comment after their dramatic rescue yesterday.

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