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Fire crew will test out their skills on mud near Medway Valley Leisure Park in Strood

By Lynn Cox

Firefighters will be testing out their skills on Wednesday morning as they rescue someone from mud flats near Medway Valley Leisure Park, in Strood.

A crew from Larkfield will be leading the training with their water safety unit, the team specialise in rescues from water and unstable surfaces.

They will be joined on the day by colleagues from Thames-side fire station for the rescue scenario, which starts at 10.30am.

Firefighters will carry out a mud rescue.
Firefighters will carry out a mud rescue.

The drama will unfold with a simulated 999 call to Kent Fire and Rescue Services’ emergency control centre to reports that a dog walker has gone onto mud flats after his pet and become stuck in the mud the park in Chariot Way.

Julian Hartley, crew manager from Larkfield, said: “With temperatures near freezing and the tide starting to turn, time is of the essence.

“Our priority is to get the best possible outcome for those who need our help by using our knowledge, training and skills in a collaborative way to save lives.”

Crews wearing dry suits and life jackets will use swift water rescue equipment and a mud path and a portable rescue platform to reach the dog lover casualty and bring him to safety.

Firefighter Hartley added: “We’re called to a wide range of challenging incidents and have to work under pressure, often in difficult conditions and all weathers.

“Our job is about saving lives and achieving the best possible outcome for those trapped or injured as quickly and effectively as possible and this type of training provides an excellent opportunity for our firefighters to test our response, incident command, casualty handling and time critical care skills.

“The best way to avoid becoming trapped is to stick to footpaths and solid ground if you’re out walking and keep your dog on a lead near mud and ice.”

Avdice given by crews on what you should do if you become stuck in the mud include, staying calm and lie down and spread your arms and legs wide apart and shout for help and get someone to dial 999.

Other advice includes, don’t stand upright or attempt any movement as this makes you sink even more quickly and if see someone stuck in the mud, always go for help - do not go into the mud yourself.

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