Sewer Upgrade Opportunity for Emergency Services

27 April 2022
Scottish Fire & Rescue Service training in new storm tank

In at the deep end

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service personnel carry out a line rescue from the bottom of the new giant storm storage tank

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews got a rare opportunity to carry out a live rescue exercise on a Scottish Water construction site.

Amey-Binnies who are delivering the flood alleviation project, set up the emergency exercise using the 13-metre-deep sewage tank they are installing in Wellgate car park in Lanark.

Scottish Water is investing £2.5 million to reduce the risk of sewer flooding in the town by building the huge underground storm tank and installing new sewer pipes.

Amey-Binnies regularly undertakes emergency rescue drills on projects and site manager Willie McAllister contacted local fire services to see if they would be interested.

He said: “The ‘hands-on’ training involved the recovery of an injured person from the bottom of the storm tank using ropes.

“It was of great operational benefit for everyone involved, particularly for the fire and rescue service as the crews were kept in the dark until they arrived on site.”

SFRS Station Commander Philip Macdonald thanked everyone involved in delivering the partnership event.
He said: "This exercise brought together our crews and Operations Control colleagues to enhance our existing skills, knowledge and experience of complex line rescue incidents. 
"The footage taken at the event will be developed into a learning package to benefit even more staff across the Service."
Scottish Fire & Rescue Service at new storm tank

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service personnel

During extreme weather events, excess water will spill into the new tank and be stored there before being pumped back into the sewer network once water levels there have fallen.

The project – which will also see new sewer pipes installed in neighbouring Bernard’s Wynd – is on schedule to be completed by the end of July.

Georgina Reid, Scottish Water’s corporate affairs manager in the west, said: “This was a great example of collaboration, and our delivery partners contributing to the training and development of the emergency services on a live Scottish Water project.

“Serving our communities is at the heart of everything we do, and ensuring our workforce is kept safe at all times is a top priority. 

“This was a brilliant opportunity for our Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to undertake vital training in a real-life situation.”

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