Two firefighters suffer serious injuries after 40ft fall during training session in Northampton

Mounts Fire Station. Picture by Jake Fisher.
Mounts Fire Station. Picture by Jake Fisher.

An investigation is taking place today after two firefighters suffered serious injuries following a 40ft fall from a training tower at a Northampton station.

The pair, who were roped together as part of specialist climbing team, had scaled the outside of the tower at The Mounts station at about noon on Saturday when they went into an “uncontrolled descent’ and hit the ground.

The Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, which attended the scene at 11.42 on Saturday morning, reported that they treated both male firefighters before they were transferred to a hospital in Coventry.

A spokesperson said that one man, who received injuries to his foot and back, was taken to hospital by the East Midlands Ambulance Survey (EMAS) by land, while the other, a 52-year-old man, was airlifted to hospital after sustaining injuries to his arm and back.

They are continuing to be assessed today in Coventry, although both are said to be stable and awake.

Darren Dovey, area commander for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, said three other members of the team were at the scene and helped give medical attention until a road ambulance and air ambulance helicopter, which landed nearby, arrived.

He said: “We’ve sent those other three home and they’re off duty for now.

“We’re all well-used to seeing injuries in our jobs, but when it’s someone you’re on a watch with and someone you’ve been through a lot with, there’s a real emotional attachment and it can affect you.

“As well as the support for the injured lads, we’re helping the other crew members too as this can affect them psychologically.”

The firefighters are from the team who rescued a balloon pilot from a pylon in Bozeat in 2012.

Mr Dovey said the Health and Safety Executive had been notified of the accident and that a joint investigation was taking place between the fire service and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which could take several weeks.

All the training equipment that was being used has been impounded.

**Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance picture by Chris Griffiths**