ON EX­ER­CISE: Mock crash staged to hone skills

RAF Northolt stages mock crash scene with fire­fight­ers and am­bu­lance crews to hone dis­as­ter skills

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Nathan Spen­de­low nathan.spen­de­low@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

MORE than 100 fire­fight­ers teamed up with Royal Air Force Northolt for a train­ing ex­er­cise at the for­mer RAF base in Uxbridge.

Months in the plan­ning, Ex­er­cise Fallen Sky saw fire crews prac­tise their re­sponse to a mil­i­tary air­craft in­ci­dent in a sim­u­lated but re­al­is­tic en­vi­ron­ment with the armed forces.

Work­ing with spe­cial­ist teams from RAF Northolt which are qual­i­fied in mil­i­tary air­craft res­cue, the train­ing sce­nario on Tues­day last week was a chance for mem­bers of both ser­vices to hone valu­able life sav­ing skills by res­cu­ing pas­sen­gers and crew from a real air­craft fuse­lage.

Twelve fire en­gines and other spe­cial­ist ve­hi­cles took part in the drill and fire­fight­ers used spe­cial­ist equip­ment such as breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus, cutting gear and ther­mal imag­ing cam­eras to res­cue the ‘ca­su­al­ties’.

With fur­ther sup­port pro­vided by Lon­don Am­bu­lance Ser­vice, Metropoli­tan Police and the Lon­don Bor­ough of Hilling­don, the ex­er­cise was also an op­por­tu­nity for all agen­cies in­volved to im­prove the way they work to­gether to re­spond to ma­jor in­ci­dents.

The As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner for Op­er­a­tional Re­sponse at Lon­don Fire Brigade, Tom Ge­orge, said: “Like all mod­ern fire and res­cue ser­vices we train reg­u­larly to pre­pare for a wide range of emer­gen­cies and this ex­er­cise pro­vided us with a unique and valu­able op­por­tu­nity to train in a re­al­is­tic en­vi­ron­ment along­side our RAF part­ners and col­leagues from the

Metropoli­tan Police, Lon­don Am­bu­lance Ser­vice and the lo­cal au­thor­ity.

“You can’t get this sort of ex­pe­ri­ence from a text book and test­ing our skills and pro­ce­dures in this way is im­por­tant to en­sure we’re al­ways ready to re­spond along­side our part­ners in an ef­fec­tive and co­or­di­nated way.”

RAF Northolt’s Sta­tion Com­man­der, Group Cap­tain David Man­ning, added: “Train­ing ex­er­cises like this are essen­tial to test our skills, pre­pared­ness and in­te­gra­tion with the civil or­gan­i­sa­tions in the highly un­likely event of an avi­a­tion or other ma­jor in­ci­dent.

“Both the RAF Northolt and Lon­don Fire Brigade teams per­formed im­pres­sively today and, as usual, with these com­plex ex­er­cises there were some valu­able learn­ing points for us all.”

Lon­don Fire Brigade re­it­er­ated that the Ex­er­cise Fallen Sky train­ing sce­nario was not ter­ror­ist re­lated and the ex­er­cise was not staged in re­sponse to any spe­cific in­tel­li­gence or threat.

Last month, emer­gency ser­vices mocked up a Tube dis­as­ter in a replica of Water­loo sta­tion in an ef­fort to help train emer­gency ser­vice per­son­nel.

n RES­CUE: Fire crews cut ‘ca­su­al­ties’ from the wreck­age in the staged dis­as­ter scene

n OVER­VIEW: An aerial shot of the RAF Northolt train­ing ex­er­cise

n TEAM WORK: Lon­don Am­bu­lance also helped the fire crews

n MOCK UP: Fire en­gines at Raf Northolt

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.