HWFRS firefighters from across Worcestershire have taken part in a challenging ‘command and control’ exercise at the Service’s Defford Airfield training facility, which called for a wide range of their skills and expertise.
Run by the Service’s South District, the exercise was aimed at putting crews through a demanding scenario focused on command-and-control procedures at a road traffic collision (RTC) and a building fire, needing the use of breathing apparatus.
On-call crews from seven fire stations: Worcester, Evesham, Pebworth, Broadway, Pershore, Upton and Malvern, found themselves tackling a blazing building and a multi vehicle RTC.
Not only was one car on its roof, another was on its side with a metal girder penetrating the windscreen, while yet more vehicles were also caught up in the ‘collision’.
Assessing the situation, the operational commander quickly established that the incident scene was a scrap yard where gas cylinders were located – and that the fire had now spread to adjoining buildings with people reported to be still inside .
The first crews on the scene made rapid progress in immediate casualty care and, as more fire resources arrived, crews were able to control the fire and rescue casualties quickly and efficiently, while contending with the numerous hazards the scenario presented.
Throughout the exercise, a number of Breathing Apparatus teams were deployed into live fires while three ‘passenger rescues’ were carried out from the various vehicles involved.
Watch Commander Martin Harrison, the exercise commander, said: ‘This was a challenging scenario with a number of hazards to consider, but all the participating crews demonstrated a very good level of both practical and command competence to bring the incident to a safe and rapid conclusion.
‘I’d like to thank the crews for taking time to attend this exercise and also to our Training Centre and district officers who organised and monitored the event so professionally.’