Of course, when I say that that is what Strathclyde Fire and Rescue (“making our communities safe places to live work and visit”) preferred, I do acknowledge it cannot have been pleasant to sit around listening to her desperate cries for the last six hours of her life while rescue equipment that could have brought her out from the mine shaft into which she had fallen stood inactive. But it was that or disregard a memo.
According to the Times,
An injured woman lay for six hours at the foot of a disused mine shaft because safety rules banned firefighters from rescuing her, an inquiry heard yesterday. As Alison Hume was brought to the surface by mountain rescuers she died of a heart attack.
A senior fire officer at the scene admitted that crews could only listen to her cries for help, after she fell down the 60ft shaft, because regulations said their lifting equipment could not be used on the public. A memo had been circulated in Strathclyde Fire and Rescue stations months previously stating that it was for use by firefighters only.
Tough call. We must hope that the eighteen firefighters present (according to an account in the Scotsman) supported each other.
I am a little confused by the fact that the this rope equipment was specified for use by firefighters only. I suppose this restriction is to avoid untrained people being rescued.