Fire Service Hazardous Materials Training Exercise descends on Ludgershall

Residents of Ludgershall may have noticed something strange when the Fire and Rescue Service held a training exercise to prepare for a hazardous materials incident.

Three fire engines, two rapid response vehicles and up to 30 officers from Hampshire and Isle of Wight and Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Services took part in the exercise, held in partnership with University of Hertfordshire staff, March 23.

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The exercise scenario was based on the accidental release of cyanide in an industrial unit, resulting in three casualties who had to be rescued and decontaminated.

Conrad Jordan, Surveillance Manager at Ludgershall Fire Station, said: “This realistic approach to training gives our duty personnel a unique opportunity to ensure that in the event of a real Hazmat incident, we can respond quickly, effectively and safely to save lives. and prevent contamination of surrounding areas”.

The response to the incident was based on the UK’s new ‘initial operational response’, which prioritizes the safety of victims potentially exposed to toxic chemicals.

Professor Rob Chilcott, whose team helped develop the new incident response, said: “The exercise was challenging and fully tested all aspects of fire and rescue service response. in the event of a chemical incident.

“It was reassuring to see the speed and professionalism of the teams who responded to such a difficult task.”

The Fire and Rescue Service responds to approximately 4,000 incidents involving toxic materials in the UK each year.

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Richard V. Johnson