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Mayor visits Douglas Fire Station 16 July 2008

Mayor of Douglas Dot Pitts with members of Red WatchTHE new Mayor of Douglas enjoyed a hands-on look at the role of the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service during a recent visit to Douglas Fire Station.

As part of her tour, Mrs Dot Pitts got to grips with some of the equipment used by firefighters to deal with rescue incidents and road traffic collisions. Members of Red Watch staged a demonstration to show how specialist saws and cutters were employed to remove the roof of a vehicle and safely recover the trapped occupant.

Mrs Pitts and her husband Cllr Stephen Pitts had earlier gained an insight into the duties performed by a modern day firefighter. Chief Fire Officer Brian Draper outlined the different emergency situations that members of the Fire Service can be called to respond to in the Island. He explained that in addition to tackling fires in the home, workplace and countryside, the Fire Service undertakes a multitude of other tasks – such as line rescues, hill searches and swift water incidents – to ensure community safety.

Douglas Station Officer Mark Christian then showed Mr and Mrs Pitts one of the vehicles that plays a key part in fire rescues, missing person searches and accident investigations. Firefighters Paul Rothwell and Justin McMullin demonstrated the 30-metre aerial ladder platform and described the functions of its high-resolution cameras and thermal imaging equipment.

Mr and Mrs Pitts also took the opportunity to visit the hyperbaric chamber and talk to medical technologist David Downie. The chamber treats more than 15,000 patients every year, including the Firefighter Justin McMullin with Mayor of Douglas Mrs Dot Piemergency referral of divers suffering the bends.

Mrs Pitts said:

‘The Fire Service performs an extremely important role in the community and it was interesting to see some of the specialist vehicles and equipment in action. It was also good to take a close-up look at the hyperbaric chamber which helps to improve the health and general well-being of so many people in the Island.’

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