Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Woman rescued from mud

Little Bardfield Road, Little Bardfield
15/01/2021 @ 15:08
Incident Number: 137715
In attendance: 1 x Wethersfield, 1 x Thaxted, 1 x USAR

Firefighters rescued a woman who got stuck in mud after wading in to help her grandchildren - and have issued safety advice to walkers.

On-call firefighters from Wethersfield and Thaxted were called to Little Bardfield Road, Little Bardfield today at 3.08pm.

Crews discovered a woman in her seventies stuck in a muddy field. 

Station Manager Darren Driscoll said: "The woman was walking with her grandsons across fields when the boys, aged seven and nine, became stuck in mud.

"She helped them out but then got stuck herself; one of her legs was trapped up to the top of her thigh and she couldn't move."

Firefighters used the What3Words app to direct our Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team to the remote location and carried equipment to the scene, which was about a quarter of a mile from the road. 

The USAR team used a triple extension ladder, inflatable sled and sand lance, which creates air pockets in the mud, to free the woman, by 4.29pm.

Station Manager Driscoll said: "I'd like to praise the initital crews for putting everything in place to make sure the USAR team was able to carry out a really effective rescue.

"The woman was cold but soon regained the feeling in her legs after being freed."

With more people out walking in lockdown for their daily exercise, Station Manager Driscoll urged everyone to download the What3Words app to help emergency services find remote locations. It took the initial crews about 10 minutes to find the casualty because she was unable to give a precise location.

He said: "Also, make sure you are aware of your surroundings. You never know what the ground is like under mud, snow or wet ground and you could easily get stuck, so please take extra care.

"If you are a farmer or landowner, please consider fencing off any potentially hazardous areas that walkers could access." 

Download What3Words

What3words is a free smartphone app that helps you easily and accurately describe your location.

The app developers have broken the world down into trillions of 3 metre by 3 metre squares, each with a unique three-word address. These three words can then be used to pinpoint your location more accurately when sending emergency services to you.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service along with other emergency services uses what3words to find incidents.

Download the app for free at

Could you be an on-call firefighter?

Some of the firefighters who attended this incident are on-call firefighters. They each live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station and are paid to protect their community.

If you live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station, you could be an on-call firefighter too and join more than 500 firefighters who are paid to protect their local community.

Find out more at

Site by Pingala Media