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Helicopter rescue from Worcester Cathedral

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Cathedral rescue

At approximately 09:30 on Saturday 1 July an elderly man fell ill during filming for a historical reenactment whilst at the top of the tower at Worcester Cathedral. Ambulance personnel provided immediate care to stabilise the casualty whilst specialist fire service line rescue crews from Worcester, Droitwich and Malvern attended to carry out a rescue.

Fire crews are very familiar with the Cathedral and were able to quickly establish that due to the height of the tower (170 feet) and narrow internal staircase, the most effective rescue would be achieved through the use of a helicopter. A UK search and rescue helicopter based at St Athan, near Cardiff was then called to the scene. In spite of significant hazards including turrets, flagpoles, strong wind conditions and a small working area the helicopter crew were able to skillfully winch the casualty onto the helicopter and transport them to an ambulance waiting in an adjacent field.

Station Commander Phil Berry said: "Whilst there are significant challenges to this type of rescue we work closely with the Cathedral and have pre-prepared plans in place for rescues from all levels of the tower. As such we were quickly able to initiate the most effective rescue for the casualty who I am pleased to report has responded well to treatment from ambulance personnel and will make a full recovery."

He continued: "All agencies involved should take an enormous amount of credit, not only for their effective working and professionalism on the day but also for their meticulous pre-planning and regular exercising at this site."