Successful search for Finchingfield missing man an example of emergency service collaboration say Essex Fire and Rescue

Michael Bell, who was found on Tuesday (May 17)

Michael Bell, who was found on Tuesday (May 17) - Credit: Archant

Firefighters from Saffron Walden and Dunmow assisted police in the successful search for a Finchingfield man who has gone missing twice before.

Michael Bell, 59, who suffers from diabetes, had been missing since Friday (May 13), and fire crews joined police officers in searching a large area of farmland in Finchingfield on Tuesday (May 17).

After nearly five hours, Mr Bell was found unconscious in a ditch and was treated at the scene with an East of England Ambulance crew, a Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), and the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance in attendance.

Mr Bell was taken by land ambulance to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford and is said to be in a stable condition.

This is the third time Mr Bell has been missing after previous incidents in both 2014 and 2015.

In November 2014, Mr Bell went missing from his home, and was discovered four days later at a nature reserve at Fingringhoe Wick, near Colchester, after a search by police, family and relatives.

Less than four months later, on March 10, 2015, Mr Bell went missing again and was found two weeks later in Norfolk following an urgent appeal for his whereabouts.

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Essex County Fire and Rescue Service say the successful search is an example of emergency services joining forces to share skills and resources.

Acting chief fire officer Adam Eckley said: “I could not be more proud of our crews and the vital role they played in this search. It is another example of the increasingly important role collaborative work plays in helping us make Essex safer.

“Our firefighters are highly trained and highly skilled professionals and by using those skills with our blue lights partners we can do even more and achieve even better results.”

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