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Firefighters exercise rescue skills in mock building blaze

March 15 2018

Firefighters from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have carried out a large exercise in Tamworth.

“We used real smoke and dummies to give the crews a challenging rescue scenario within the building, with several casualties around the flat. They were required to rescue these ‘people’ and reassure concerned and distressed members of public who were played by Service volunteers."

Crew Manager Phil Mulligan

Both wholetime and retained crews from Tamworth Belgrave, Barton-under-Needwood, Burton and Lichfield, attended The Kerria Centre, Amington, an unoccupied building consisting of six ground floor shop units with six maisonettes above.

They responded to reports of a fire within one of the maisonettes and as they were on route to the incident they received updates from Fire Control that four people were trapped within the flat, and that they were being given fire survival advice. Although this scenario was staged, they responded as they would have if it had been a real incident.

The aim of the exercise was to give firefighters a realistic environment to practice their breathing apparatus procedures, fire ground procedures and incident command.

Crew Manager Phil Mulligan, who ran the exercise, said: “As this building is due to be demolished it presented an ideal opportunity to hold an exercise in a realistic way, without worrying about damaging the building. We were able to force entry as we would in an emergency situation and use hose reel jets without any restrictions as Tamworth Borough Council kindly granted us permission to use the building however we wished.

“We used real smoke and dummies to give the crews a challenging rescue scenario within the building, with several casualties around the flat. They were required to rescue these ‘people’ and reassure concerned and distressed members of public who were played by Service volunteers.

“It is really important for our crews to maintain their skills and take part in regular training exercises such as this. After the exercise we held a detailed debrief where we went through all of the actions taken and the outcomes achieved, using self-reflection to identify specific areas of learning.”