Forfar Academy head teacher rescued from crane

Forfar Academy Headmaster Melvin LynchForfar Academy Headmaster Melvin Lynch
Forfar Academy Headmaster Melvin Lynch
Pupils at Forfar Academy watched on as their head teacher was rescued by firefighters from the top of a crane last Friday.

Melvyn Lynch had to be saved from a height of around 25 metres – but the lunchtime drama was actually a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service training exercise.

Robertson Construction Tayside allowed their crane to be used for the exercise, which took place on the site of the new £38million Forfar Community Campus.

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The project’s construction phase – led by Robertson – officially began in June with the campus to incorporate a new state-of-the-art school and leisure facilities.

Forfar head teacher Melvyn Lynch was rescued from Robertson's crane at the community campus site.Forfar head teacher Melvyn Lynch was rescued from Robertson's crane at the community campus site.
Forfar head teacher Melvyn Lynch was rescued from Robertson's crane at the community campus site.

Kevin Dickson, managing director, Robertson Construction Tayside, said: “We were more than happy to hand over our crane to the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service for their exercise and hope that Mr Lynch has recovered from his ordeal!

“Forfar Community Campus is a hugely important project for the area and we have already made significant progress in the construction phase with much of the structure now in place.”

Once Mr Lynch was safely returned to his office, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service held a second exercise using the crane – with one of their firefighters being rescued.

Craig Thomson, station manager, Scottish Fire & Rescue, said: “Today was an excellent opportunity for our crew to carry out well-rehearsed techniques in a real life environment.

“We have a training simulator at Dundee’s Kingsway but there is no substitute for the real thing and we are grateful to Robertson Construction Tayside for allowing us to use their site for training purposes.

“This is an excellent example of partnership working with the private sector, which highlights just one of the various types of rescue we are required to carry out at Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.”

The Forfar Community Campus is being developed by Angus Council in partnership with the Hub East Central Scotland.

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The crew were White Watch firefighters from Dundee’s Kingsway East station, specially trained in line-rescue.

Melvyn Lynch, head teacher, Forfar Academy, said: “I have found myself in some strange situations as head teacher over the years, but the opportunity for a bird’s eye view of the new Campus development was just too good to miss.

“Professional to the last – the officers from White Watch were outstanding and brought me back to earth – much to the disappointment of my colleagues.”

This story originally appeared in our sister title the Forfar Dispatch.