Firefighters have been rewarded for their heroics in mounting a rescue operation for 100 animals.
RSPCA Certificates of Commendation were presented to 21 Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service officers at Lichfield Fire Station on Monday. The awards recognise the efforts of crews in saving sheep from flash flooding in Fisherwick Wood Lane, Lichfield in September 2008.
"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."
Assistant Area Commander for South Staffs, who was officer in charge at the time, Paul Richins
Paul continued, "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. Crews worked throughout the afternoon and managed to rescue more than 50 of the 100 stranded sheep."
At Monday’s ceremony awards were presented by the RSPCA’s Regional Manager for Wales and West, Steve Carter and the RSPCA’s Chief Inspector, Dave Hollinshead.