CROWDS of people gathered in Trowbridge this afternoon to watch as Trowbridge firefighters tackled a simulated rescue off the Town Bridge.

The scenario set them was the recovery of a 10-stone casualty with a broken back who had fallen onto a ledge 15 feet down.

Using a series of pulleys and ropes they arranged a cableway to lower a stretcher down to the 'patient' and then raise the stretcher-bound dummy to street level.

The firefighters were practising as they are finding themselves called out increasingly often to rescue people from the rivers in Trowbridge and Bradford on Avon, often at night and in difficult weather conditions.