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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Firefighters rehearse response to ‘chemical spill’

28/03/2014

Dozens of Staffordshire firefighters have rehearsed their response to a ‘chemical spill’ at a manufacturing facility.

"Exercise Typhoon was extremely positive and gave us the opportunity to train in a way that could prove absolutely vital should a chemical incident occur."

Watch Manager Gary Fox

Crews from Codsall, Stafford, Stone Newcastle, Cannock, Eccleshall and Penkridge took part in ‘Exercise Typhoon’ which was held at Moog Aircraft Group in Wolverhampton.

Around 40 firefighters enacted exactly what they would do at each stage of the major emergency as though it had really taken place.

This included ensuring all relevant information regarding the incident was obtained and communicated between the various parties, checking evacuation plans and carrying out risk assessments.

Detailed investigations were conducted to correctly identify materials involved and any hazards posed by them.

Members of staff from the company assisted in the operation and were ‘decontaminated’ in a special unit that was set up on site.

Watch Manager Gary Fox, who co-ordinated Exercise Typhoon, said: "Exercise Typhoon was extremely positive and gave us the opportunity to train in a way that could prove absolutely vital should a chemical incident occur. Although learning the theory behind what we would need to do should such an emergency happen, this type of ‘real life’ training is invaluable to us and could save lives if we were faced with a similar situation."

Doug Allen, Facilities, Continuous Improvements and EHS Manager at Moog Aircraft Group, said: "It is exceptionally important to us at Moog that we protect our workforce in emergency situations. We regularly test our evacuation response to our emergency alarms.

"It was highly valuable to benefit from the experience of such a wide number of experts as those who attended this exercise. It has given us an opportunity to learn a lot about evacuation and decontamination. Therefore, we will be amending our procedures so that they are even more robust than before, and so that they integrate with the requirements of our highly trained local fire and rescue service."