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Posted March 20, 2011 EST

Shake-up After Pit Tragedy
United Kingdom - Fire crews have had specialist training following the death of a mum who fell down a mineshaft. Strathclyde Fire Rescue officers stood by while lawyer Alison Hume, 44, died in Galston, Ayrshire, in 2008. A fatal acident inquiry heard that health and safety rules prevented firefighters from rescuing her from the 60ft shaft because they had not been trained to do so.

Crews were allowed to rescue each other using ropes but not members of the public.

Now a specialist team of 50 firefighters based in East Kilbride have been given line-rescue training.

It is expected the FAI findings will slam Strathclyde Fire & Rescue.

Alison lay for six hours at the foot of the disused pitshaft near her home. She was brought up by mountain rescuers but died of a heart attack.

A senior fire officer at the scene admitted crews could only listen to her cries for help because regulations said their lifting equipment could not be used on the public.

Firefighters who receive the training will get a pounds 500 payment on top of their wages.

Alison's mum Margaret said: "I can't understand why all firefighters aren't trained."

A Strathclyde Fire & Rescue spokesman said: "We plan to have the squad operational in a few months."

(c) 2011 Sunday Mail; Glasgow (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

Written by Sunday Mail

Courtesy of YellowBrix
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