By Jake Lanning of West Bay Coastguard Rescue Team

As I looked at the teddy bear lying at my feet, it occurred to me that this was not our usual rescue operation. A lot smaller than I was used to, the teddy stared back at me with big, trusting, friendly eyes. The pressure was on.

Peering over the edge of the fire station tower, the ground was quite some distance away. At three storeys up, a fall from this height would have been quite traumatic for onlookers. I turned my attention back to the task in hand. Even our smallest rescue harness would not fit the pint-sized passenger, so I had no choice but to fashion something together. Not exactly coastguard regulation, but I was pretty confident it would hold. I double-checked the rope above my head which was tied around a metal girder, the other end trailed down to the ground secured to the building opposite.

I caught sight of the family below, children waving, all waiting expectantly. It was time.

I lifted up the precious cargo and clipped it onto the rope, I held my breath and let go. With a squeal of excitement from the children, the teddy hurtled down the line and into their waiting arms.

Relieved that we did not suffer any harness malfunctions, I stepped back and noticed for the first time the queue of children all holding their beloved cuddly toys. I was to be there for some time. This was of course the Bridport Fire Station open day. As well as manning the zip wire, we had our vehicle, PR stand and also provided some rescue demonstrations. Visitors also got to see all of the fire appliances, paramedic vehicles and some really great demonstrations by the fire service. We were delighted to be involved and roll on next year!