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D-Drill facilitate installation of new CT scanner.
A concrete cutting expert in the North East has returned to a hospital in Newcastle after receiving a repeat order – more than 30 years after completing his first job there.

John Emberson, the North East branch manager of D-Drill was called in by PF Burridge to cut through a one metre thick concrete roof slab at Newcastle General Hospital.

The team then had to remove a further one metre thick screen wall to allow for a new CT scanner to be installed at the hospital.

Overall, the firm removed around 85 tonnes of reinforced concrete – but it was a case of history repeating itself for John.

He was originally asked to cut a door opening through a 750mm thick concrete lead lined wall in the early 1980s to allow the North East’s first ever whole-body CT scanner to be installed after £1million fundraising appeal was launched by Daisy Clark MBE.

John said: “I was thrilled to get the call. Of course, as a business, we welcome any contract but in this instance it was a personal highlight for me having carried out the cutting job back in the early 1980s to get the first CT scanner into the hospital.

“To go back to help them install a modern version of the machine was great and I am delighted that everything went to plan and both the hospital and the main contractor were pleased with the work.

“Just as the hospital’s technology has improved, so has our industry’s. When I undertook the first job more than 30 years ago, I was using one of the first ever hydraulic saws in the UK because it was the only machine that would cut through that kind of thickness of concrete.

“On this occasion, I used a high frequency wire saw to cut the perimeter and then cracked the concrete with a hydraulic burster.”

After cracking the concrete, the company used a BROKK 90 – the latest technology in remote controlled demolition machines – to break the concrete down to floor level before it was safely removed.

John added: “Of course, we always take great care to cause minimal disturbance and work in a very safe way but being a hospital that was of paramount importance.

“It’s a job I never expected to return to (although I knew I would last longer than any CT scanner!) and I am very pleased that they asked us back to do it.”