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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Firefighters and council join forces in a high pressure exercise

01/08/2014

Firefighters at 'Exercise Going Under Ground'
Firefighters at 'Exercise Going Under Ground'

More than a dozen Tamworth firefighters took part in a high pressure training exercise to practice rescuing casualties trapped in the basement of a block of flats.

"This type of 'real life' training is absolutely vital and the experience gained by firefighters can literally help to save lives if crews are faced with a similar emergency situation."

Simon Craythorn - Station Manager at Tamworth Belgrave and Mercia

Crews including those from Tamworth Belgrave and Tamworth Mercia Community Fire Stations were put to the test as part of ‘Exercise Going Under Ground’ on Tuesday, July 29.

The simulation took place at the 15-storey Peel House flats on Lichfield Street which are owned by Tamworth Borough Council.

The local authority assisted the exercise by giving the fire service access to the building which is occupied primarily by tenants.

The 18 firefighters responded as they would in a real incident, liaising with Fire Control and sending the appropriate appliances to deal with the blaze.

They enacted exactly what they would do at each stage as though it had really taken place, enabling them to practice and test their procedures.

Crews wore breathing apparatus, entered the building to rescue the five people who were trapped in the basement and reported to Fire Control that all utilities had been isolated.

They also practiced incident command procedures designed to keep firefighters and members of the public safe.

The exercise started at 7.49pm and the last crews returned to their stations at 9.28pm.

Station Manager at Tamworth Belgrave and Mercia Simon Craythorn said: "Exercise Going Under Ground was extremely positive and a great example of the strength of partnership work between the fire service and the borough council.

"This type of ‘real life’ training is absolutely vital and the experience gained by firefighters can literally help to save lives if crews are faced with a similar emergency situation."

Cllr Michael Greatorex, Cabinet member for Housing at Tamworth Borough Council, said: "The safety and wellbeing of our tenants and residents is vitally important to us, and we work very hard to make sure that we are constantly maintaining and improving safety measures.

"An exercise like this one, in partnership with FARS, is extremely helpful to the fire service, as it allows the crews to familiarise themselves with the layout of our buildings, as well as providing much-needed ‘hands-on’ training.

"It is also useful to us as an authority, as it can highlight any shortcomings in our fire prevention installations. We are pleased that we were able to help FARS with Exercise Going Under Ground and look forward to many more in the future."