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60 seconds with...Nick Croudace, UK Fire and Rescue Service

Institution News Team

The Commander of the UK Fire and Rescue Service provides his unique perspective of the challenges and technologies enabling lifting and working at height ahead of his presentation at the IMechE's Cranes 2023 seminar.

For further details of this year's Cranes seminar and to book your place, please visit the event website.

Please could you briefly explain your role, involvement, and experience with regards to the Cranes/Lifting industry and this event?

Nick Croudace (NC): I am the Director and Training Manager of Intervention Rescue Group Limited. Intervention Rescue provides technical rescue and safety training, as well as support services to develop onsite procedures for emergency action planning and rescue interventions.

I have over 24 years operational experience as Firefighter and I am a current serving Crew Commander. I have in-depth knowledge and cross industry sector experience in height safety, technical access and rescue and I’m widely regarded as the UK Fire Service leading Rope Rescue subject matter expert.

I have been the leading contributor for much of the recent national guidance for rope rescue in the UK Fire Service. I was also a leading contributor for the Construction Plant-hire Association – Good Practice Guide - Emergency Action Planning & Rescue from Height on Tower Cranes

What, in your experience, has been the biggest roadblock for the industry this year?

NC: The challenges faced are well known in the industry.

Some of the key issues:

  • Rising costs - materials, labour, energy costs and lending and insurance costs
  • Materials shortages and delays
  • Labour shortages, the skills gap and competition for good talent
  • Slowing project volumes
  • Increased responsibility to design and deliver projects in a sustainable way and the expansion of Ultra Low Emission Zones for London and possibly elsewhere
  • Numerous reforms and increased regulations

What key topics are you excited to discuss at this year's conference?

NC: With my fire service experience, I’m looking forward to being able to contribute to discussion on the fire safety issues faced with growing prevalence Lithium-Ion batteries on sites.

Regarding the utilisation of Innovation, what would you say are the technologies or applications to watch for the future?

NC: I recently had the opportunity through Radius Group to see first-hand their ground breaking Skyline Cockpit system and how a tower crane operated from a teleoperated ground control system. I see the Skyline Cockpit as the future of crane operation. It has the potential to make considerable improvements to safety wellbeing and efficiency on every construction site its installed on.

Who else are you most interested in hearing from on the programme?

NC: I’m most interested hearing about the latest safety innovations and how we can further support them in the industry sector.

Why is it important for engineers to join this conference?

NC: At Intervention Rescue we believe that we all set our own professional standards; and that they are far-reaching and ever-evolving through learning, information sharing and innovation. Conferences such as this one as key to this.

The Cranes 2023 seminar will take place on 26 September 2023 in London

Join us at the Institution's London Headquarters in September to understand how engineers are driving innovation across lifting operations, whilst addressing the challenges of maintaining safety and reducing the overall risk.

Presentations will cover examples a wide variety of projects and industries, together with technical insights and industry best practice to reduce the risk of incidents, maintain compliance with standards and make the most of new and novel technologies.

For further details of this year's Cranes seminar and to book your place, please visit the event website.


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