Awards for Lichfield firefighters after dramatic sheep rescue

Firefighters are to be rewarded for their heroics in saving 100 sheep from drowning in Lichfield.

The awards recognise the efforts of crews in saving sheep from flash flooding in Fisherwick Wood Lane in September 2008.

RSPCA Certificates of Commendation will be presented to 21 firefighters at Lichfield Fire Station on Monday (March 29).

Firefighters rescuing the sheep from flooding in Lichfield

Firefighters rescuing the sheep from flooding in Lichfield

Paul Richins, Assistant Area Commander for South Staffordshire, was the officer in charge at the incident. He said:

“There were about 100 sheep left in the field which were in a very distressed state. What crews did first was to kit people out in dry suits and get the farmhands – who were trying to pull the sheep to safety – off the land.

“Some of the sheep were already dead while many had become trapped in barbed wire. They were stuck on an island where the water level was rising fast. A joint operation was mounted with the RSPCA utilising specialist water equipment which included several boats and inflatable pontoons.

“Using an inflatable walkway and rescue boat to get across to the island we ferried the sheep, six or seven at a time, back onto dry land.”

Paul also recalled how crews worked throughout the afternoon and managed to rescue more than 50 of the 100 stranded sheep.

At Monday’s ceremony awards will be presented by the RSPCA’s Regional Manager for Wales and West, Steve Carter and the RSPCA’s Chief Inspector, Dave Hollinshead.

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