Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Partnership Provides Chemical Test For Firefighters

Dozens of firefighters were involved in recreating a chemical spill at a Peterborough business as part of a partnership training exercise.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) officers planned the training drill with managers at GE Power and Water, in Orton Southgate, to give firefighters and staff the opportunity to test their emergency procedures during a chemical incident.

Crews from Stanground, Dogsthorpe, Yaxley, and a team of firefighters from St Neots specially trained to deal with hazardous materials, took part in the exercise along with CFRS officers and staff from GE.

Clad in bright green gas-tight suits and breathing apparatus, teams of firefighters went into the building to rescue casualties, while other crews practised skills including full decontamination, water-sourcing exercises, radio messaging and incident command.

Watch Commander Giles Grainger, from Stanground black watch, said: "Chemical exercises are by far some of the hardest to recreate in a training environment and having a location like GE, meant the firefighters could experience the atmosphere of a real incident. Although there were no real flames or harmful chemicals spilt, firefighters still benefited hugely from being able to use an unfamiliar site.

"We really appreciate local businesses like GE allowing us to use their facilities as it adds a greater training challenge for the firefighters who continually strive to expand their knowledge and develop their skill sets. The exercise went extremely well and we would like to thank GE for having us."

John Wilson from GE, added: "Environmental health and safety is the number one priority for GE Water and Process Technologies and our close relationship with CFRS is an important part of that. Exercises like the chemical response drill allow us to practice in real time, our emergency response plans and make improvements based on real experiences. It is also beneficial for us to know that in the event of a real emergency the fire service is familiar with our site and processes."