Firefighters have collected their commendations for a rescue operation to save sheep from drowning in Lichfield.
RSPCA Certificates of Commendation were presented to 21 Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service officers at Lichfield Fire Station.
The awards recognise their efforts in saving sheep from flash flooding in Fisherwick Wood Lane, Lichfield in September 2008.
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 added crews worked throughout the afternoon and managed to rescue more than 50 of the 100 stranded sheep.
At the ceremony awards were presented by the RSPCA’s Regional Manager for Wales and West, Steve Carter and the RSPCA’s Chief Inspector, Dave Hollinshead.