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  • Practice makes perfect!

    Height rescuers from the Gladbeck Fire Department practice recovering a person from the nacelle of the wind turbine at the Mottbruchhalde pit heap, 130 meters above ground

    Gladbeck/Essen. Yesterday, Thursday, July 7, the height rescue team from the Gladbeck Fire Department performed a spectacular rescue exercise at the wind turbine on the Mottbruchhalde: A person with simulated injuries was rescued from the wind turbine’s nacelle at 130 meters above ground, secured and then lowered on ropes. The exercise was completed successfully and without incidents.

    Around ten members of the height rescue team from the Gladbeck fire department and technical staff from the plant operator Gladbeck-Wind GmbH, a joint venture of STEAG and RWE, were on site in almost ideal weather conditions to carry out and provide support for the exercise.

    Spectacular pictures
    “Deployment in or on a wind turbine is always a special challenge and requires the highest level of concentration from all those involved,” says Carsten Gärtner from the height rescue team of the Gladbeck Fire Department. That’s why an exercise of this kind is very important as preparation for an emergency, he says, because in addition to the turbine technology, each location is also different due to the specific wind conditions at hub height. “Exercises like this are therefore needed so we can get to know these local conditions.”

    The exercise, which lasted from the morning until late in the afternoon, produced correspondingly spectacular images. “Accidents involving personal injury occur very, very rarely in wind turbines – thank goodness. Missions of that kind are therefore not routine for us either,” says Enrico Pavel-Goldberg of STEAG New Energies GmbH, who looks after the operation and maintenance of the plant on behalf of Gladbeck-Wind GmbH and was also present at the exercise.

    Rescue drills take place regularly
    STEAG conducts practice drills at all its sites together with the local fire departments for the eventuality – which it hopes will never occur – of a real emergency. Most recently, in mid-June, there was an emergency drill by the Essen fire department at the Rüttenscheid heating plant of STEAG Fernwärme GmbH.