With the £16million upgrade continuing at Southern Water’s Wastewater Treatment Works in Eastbourne continuing, safety is the number one priority.
Specialist rescue crews are on hand 24-hours a day to look after the team, working on the 16-year-old site at Langney Point.
The Works, which serve a population of around 140,000 people, is undergoing a major refurbishment to improve how it treats up to 86million litres of wastewater a day. Because all the work is taking place underground, around-the-clock response experts have been put in place to keep the workers safe.
Southern Water Project Manager Andrew Morris said, “This is a complex scheme, which will bring big environmental benefits. Safety always comes first, which is why we have rescue workers on standby while our team works underground. This is precautionary, so we know we have the safest possible working environment.”
Rescue technicians Aleasha Cherryman, Grant Eager, David Gowar, Jacob Roach and Neal Daniels are part of a rotating team of around 50 who provide around-the-clock emergency cover at the site.
While Aleasha is a trained paramedic, most rescue technicians have a background with the fire and rescue service, either as serving or retired firefighters. The rescue team constantly monitor activity within the underground site, and are there to ensure a safe evacuation should a risk be detected.
Team members are specialists in technical and confined space rescue, including rope rescue, which gives the team the added ability to extract a casualty from more difficult access areas should the need arise. They come prepared with a full array of technical rescue equipment and are all trained to give first aid until the casualty can be transferred safely to the emergency services.
Work at the site eis due to complete in the autumn of 2018.