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Rescuers practice on wind turbine

Gladbeck Fire Department conducts exercise for emergencies at Mottbruchhalde pit heap on July 7

Gladbeck/Essen. On Thursday, July 7, the wind turbine on Gladbeck’s Mottbruchhalde pit heap, which is visible from far away, will serve as a backdrop for a rescue exercise by the local fire department: the deployment of height rescuers to recover an injured person from the nacelle at around 130 meters above ground will be practiced. The operator, Gladbeck-Wind GmbH, is happy to make its wind turbine available for the exercise.

Rescue drills at power generation plants serve to prepare for an emergency that firefighters and plant operators alike hope will never occur. But even though accidents on wind turbines are rare thanks to the high safety standards, the same applies here: prevention is better than cure. “To ensure that everything runs smoothly in the event of an emergency, we were happy to comply with the Gladbeck Fire Department’s request to use our wind turbine for a high-altitude rescue exercise,” says Dr. Kathrin Kalkühler, Managing Director of Gladbeck-Wind GmbH, a joint venture of STEAG and RWE.

Procedure for the exercise
The exercise is scheduled to start in the late morning. In addition to the fire department’s height rescue team, which will comprise about ten people on site, technical personnel from the plant operator will also be present. The exercise will involve the rescue of a person with simulated injuries from the wind turbine’s nacelle, which is located 130 meters above the ground.

“This sort of operation is not an everyday event, even as an exercise without a real emergency. We are pleased to have the opportunity to rehearse an operational scenario on a real structure by deploying our height rescuers at the Mottbruch wind turbine,” says Carsten Gärner of the Gladbeck Fire Department’s height rescue team.

Just an exercise!
Residents, walkers or cyclists who witness the height rescuers lowering a person out of the turbine nacelle using a rescue stretcher on the day in question can therefore rest assured: it is not a real emergency, but only a drill.