Leeds & West Yorkshire

Tees Barrage: Firefighter training stopped after sickness

Tees Barrage Image copyright Oliver Dixon/Geograph
Image caption The fire service has held water scenario training at Tees Barrage, including rescues from partly-submerged cars

A fire service has suspended exercises at a barrage on the River Tees after firefighters fell ill during training.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) regularly used Tees Barrage, Stockton-on-Tees, for rescue training.

A report revealed 11 firefighters - which the fire service said was 4% of those taking part - developed "sickness and diarrhoea" in the last year.

The BBC's Local Democracy Reporting Service contacted Tees Active, which runs the Barrage, for comment.

Training exercises held on the river include recovering people from partly-submerged cars.

The report, which reveals staff injuries over the previous 12 months, states: "Following a spate of illnesses in December, a decision was taken to suspend training at Tees Barrage and to investigate other possible training venues.

"Alternatives have been found and reported illnesses to date have been fewer, but will continue to be monitored."

A WYFRS spokesperson said: "We have sent a significant numbers of staff to train at Tees and the vast majority report no illness with only around 4% reporting becoming ill. 

"The decision to move away from Tees and investigate alternative venues was part of the ongoing drive to improve staff health and safety."

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