London Fire Brigade

Firefighters in dramatic bulldozer rescue

16 April 2012

Firefighters from the London Fire Brigade saved a man’s life last week after the bulldozer he was driving plunged down a steep drop into a quarry.

At 8.27am on Tuesday 10th April, the Brigade received a 999 call to reports that the bulldozer had rolled into a lake in West Drayton in Middlesex with the driver still at the wheel.

Two fire engines, two fire rescue units and around 20 firefighters immediately rushed to the scene. Crews soon realised that the bulldozer had tumbled 40 feet down a steep crumbling quarry bank and had landed upside down in the water filled pit below.

The man was seriously injured following the accident and doctors from London’s Air Ambulance and paramedics were carrying out CPR on him by the quarry when the firefighters arrived. His condition started to rapidly deteriorate and the doctors shouted up to the firefighters that he might not survive if he wasn’t brought immediately up to ground level. They quickly set to work and thanks in part to a large digger that was at the top of the quarry, the firefighters managed to winch him to safety using ropes and rescue gear. Once at the top, he was whisked away by helicopter to the Royal London Hospital.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson, said: “This was an incredibly challenging incident and our crews went above and beyond what was expected of them and even put their own safety at risk in order to save this man’s life. They did an outstanding job and for that I can only congratulate them.”

Hayes fire station manager, Rob Goodman-Brown, who was in charge of the incident, said: “I’ve never seen an incident like it in my 26 years with the Brigade. When we got there the bulldozer was almost completely submerged in the water but fortunately the driver had managed to scramble on top of it and was helped off by his colleagues.
“Our crews did everything within their power to rescue the man and given how dangerous a situation it was they did a fantastic job.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Firefighters from Hayes, Feltham, Heathrow, Heston and Wembley fire stations were at the scene. The Brigade was called at 8.27am on Tuesday 10th April and the incident was declared over at 09.27am.