A badly injured man had to be rescued by firefighters – after he fell off the Promenade while watching them train.
The 40-year-old was sat on rocks opposite the Elgin Hotel, near to Gynn Square in North Shore, when he accidentally plunged 12 feet onto rocks below.
The incident happened at around 7.40pm yesterday (Wednesday, April 16) and sparked a huge rescue operation with emergency services forming a human chain to carry the man – on a stretcher – down the remaining 30 feet of rocks.
The multi-agency rescue operation involved Lancashire Fire and Rescue, North West Ambulance Service, North West Air Ambulance, HM Coastguard and Lancashire Police.
The man was found to be unconscious but breathing when fire crews arrived at the scene.
Firefighters secured his position and stabilised his condition whilst waiting for the arrival of paramedics.
The swift response to the incident was aided by the Fire Service which had been carrying out training exercises close to the scene.
It meant firefighters were able to reach the injured man within minutes and provide immediate medical assistance.
“Luckily for the casualty, the fire service had been carrying out an exercise close to the incident so were able to make a rapid attendance,” said Patrick Thompson, watch manager at Blackpool’s Forest Gate.
Coastguard, RNLI lifeboat crews, North West Ambulance Service, and Lancashire Police were also called out to help.
Paul Little, the Coastguard’s station officer for Blackpool and Lytham, said the man was sat on the rocks opposite the Elgin Hotel, slightly north of Gynn Square, when the firefighters arrived for their exercise.
They had begun training at the go-karting track, a former boating lake protected from the Irish Sea by tall concrete walls, when the man stood up to get a better look and “fell forward”, Mr Little said, with the firefighters watching on in horror.
“He was found to be unconscious but breathing, so crews secured his position and stabilised his condition whilst awaiting the arrival of the air ambulance service and the North West Ambulance Service,” Mr Thompson said.
Around 30 rescuers lined up to carry the man, who was not named, down to the Lower Walk, on a large basket stretcher.
Mr Little said: “We had a chain and passed him down the rock face until we got to the bottom where the ambulance was parked.”
RNLI Blackpool also joined in the rescue and landed two crew members at the Promenade to assist with medical care.
A spokesman for RNLI Blackpool said: "This was a complex and demanding rescue which ended in a good outcome.
"We thank all those concerned during this rescue, which is a great example of a multiple agencies working together for a successful outcome."
But due to the deteriorating condition of the casualty, a decision was made to call for the assistance of North West Air Ambulance Service.
The air ambulance landed a short while later at a nearby go-karting track, with officials cutting a path through a rubber tyre barrier for rescuers.
But the man was eventually taken to Royal Preston Hospital, which specialises in treating serious head injuries, by road.
A large crowd had gathered to watch as the man – who woke up and was able to respond to questions – was driven away in an ambulance.
His condition was described as serious.
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