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Fire Fighters Train at Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service joined the Cornish Seal Sanctuary to up-skills in seal pup rescue!

The Sanctuary were contacted by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service as the Animal Rescue team wanted to further their knowledge of seal pups in order to aid their rescue work around the coast.

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary rehabilitate over 70 seal pups every season, that have been rescued from around the Cornish coastline, so the team were more than experienced to be able to teach the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service team all about seal rescue.

The UK Fire and Rescue Service frequently attend animal rescues and with 50% of the population owning pets it is no surprise that firefighters will encounter animals in the course of their everyday duties. National Operational Guidance helps fire authorities to plan for a wide range of situations that might involve animals.

As a coastal Fire and Rescue Service, Hampshire’s Animal Rescue team often get involved with incidents involving marine mammals. Having attended Marine Mammal Medic Courses with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity and experienced several real incidents, Hampshire specialists headed for the Seal Sanctuary in Cornwall for some valuable hands on update training.

The Sanctuary’ animal care team took the Firefighters through all stages of pup rehabilitation, from what to do when you arrive at a rescue situation, how to actually rescue a seal and the equipment needed, to how to approach older seals in the wild if the situation arose.

Hampshire’s team have been involved in rescues of seals, harbour porpoises and even a northern bottlenose whale. With every species having different characteristics and welfare needs this course presented exceptional first-hand experience of seal behaviour, psychology, size, weight and capabilities.

Dave Allen, Watch Manager at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service "The fantastic staff were extremely knowledgeable and provided great hands on training in a safe environment. The course was an excellent opportunity to gain a valuable hands-on experience. The most useful was learning about seal psychology, size, weight and capability which will help us when dealing with incidents involving seals in the future."

Tamara Cooper, Curator at the Sanctuary said "It was fantastic to have the Hampshire team at the Sanctuary, we learnt so much from them and we are so grateful for all the work they do to look after both people and animals."

The Sanctuary team thoroughly enjoyed the course with the Firefighters and are proud to support them, and are extremely grateful that they are supporting seals and other wildlife through their hard work.

June 2019

Entangled seal pup on rescue
Seal being released
Merlin Entertainment