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Crews’ ‘emergency’ day
2:00pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in News
EXPLOSIONS, a chemical leak and a contamination scare were simulated as part of a large-scale training exercise for the fire service.
Eighteen fire engines containing crews from across the county and specialist equipment, headed to sites in Evesham, Droitwich and Tenbury on Sunday, where dramatic drills to test firefighters response skills took place throughout the day.
Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) undertook the training exercise, known as Exercise Cerberus, to test its capability of responding to three challenging emergencies running one after another.
The drills were carried out at Amcor in Orleans Close, Evesham, at the Richard Lloyd Ltd site at Cromwell Works, Tenbury Wells and in a conference centre at Chateau Impney in Droitwich.
In Evesham, firefighters tacked a simulated chemical leak from a delivery tanker that had then caught fire.
Crews from Evesham, Pebworth, Broadway, Pershore and Upton, the Command Support Unit from Malvern and the Environmental Protection Unit from Stourport were all involved.
Trainee paramedics from West Midlands Ambulance Service were also in attendance, as were students from University of Worcester acting as reporters and casualties and Celebration Fireworks from Evesham provided the pyrotechnics.
Several houses nearby were evacuated as a precautionary measure.
Grant Wills, district group commander for South Worcestershire, led the exercise in Evesham.
He said: “It went very well. We worked closely with Amcor to test the emergency procedures in place as well.
“We also rescued some live casualties using breathing apparatus during the exercise.
“There is a possibility this could happen and we need to be prepared. We have chosen challenging incidents so it is a really good test of the services ability to respond to those incidents and maintain normal service.”
Meanwhile, station commander Dan Quinn was at the Droitwich exercise which was a ‘white powder contamination’.
He said: “This servicewide exercise allows us to see how we would cope if it all happened at once. We have tried to test aspects of the service that we not regularly do. We are doing well.”
In Tenbury, firefighters practised their response to an explosion, where the urban search and rescue team carried out the rescue of a person trapped in rubble.