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Senior fire officer urges people to not take unnecessary risks at county’s beauty spots

Thor’s Cave in Wetton

A senior fire officer is calling on people to be sensible and not take any unnecessary risks when exploring the county’s beauty spots.

It’s really important people listen to what we have to say because these rescue operations can be very complex, costly and resource intensive.

Deputy Fire Chief, Rob Barber

Deputy Fire Chief at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, Rob Barber has issued the warning after a man and child had to be rescued from Thor’s Cave in Wetton by firefighters last weekend.

Crews – alongside partners Derbyshire Mountain Rescue, West Midlands Ambulance Service and Staffordshire Police - were at the scene for hours on Sunday 28 June as they looked to safely help the pair – who had become stuck approximately 60 metres up the side of the rock face.

It follows a similar incident in the same vicinity earlier this month involving a pregnant woman.

Deputy Fire Chief Barber said: “It’s really important people listen to what we have to say because these rescue operations can be very complex, costly and resource intensive.

“People need to take greater care when dealing with unfamiliar areas and need to ensure that they’re equipped correctly for any walks they go on.

“The Moorlands can be a beautiful location to visit, but when the ground is wet, rocks can be slippery and dangerous. I would urge any visitors to locations like these to follow local safety information and to not take any unnecessary risks.

“At a time where we are all trying to protect the NHS from further pressures we all need to consider the possible consequences of our actions, this type of avoidable incident ties up valuable resources that may be needed elsewhere within the county."

Physically things won’t look too different from the outside – with the only noticeable difference being a Portakabin installed out the back of the station which will house the new gym facilities for the crew to use.

“The crew currently have to travel to other gym facilities, so that could be Rugeley, Uttoxeter or Hoar Cross,” Sara added. “That’s at least 15 minutes out of the area and they can’t be on call at that time so have to book off to carry out a vital part of their job.

“We are now in discussions with a fitness adviser to ensure the equipment meets the needs of the crew and the new station.

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